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Deep Rock Tunnel Connector Boring Machine Nears Halfway Point

INDIANAPOLIS - Citizens Energy Group and Mayor Greg Ballard announced today that boring on the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector is nearly halfway complete. The contractor has bored almost four miles of an eight-mile tunnel. The tunnel boring machine wasn't expected to reach this milestone until October 2013.

With great strides happening underground, Citizens is also achieving progress above ground. A recent economic impact study shows Citizens will invest nearly $4 billion in its water and wastewater systems by 2025. This investment will create or support nearly 68,000 jobs in the U.S., 40,000 of those jobs being in Indiana. The study equates job creation to a full time job lasting one year.

Jobs created by the water and wastewater investments will pay an average salary of $52,000 per year in a wide range of fields including engineering, construction and trucking. The jobs will create labor income of $3.6 billion in the U.S. and $2 billion in Indiana by 2025. These jobs also will generate about $243 million in state and local taxes in Indiana.

"In addition to the economic impact, the water and wastewater system improvements will also have enormous environmental and quality of life benefits for Central Indiana," said Carey Lykins, President and CEO of Citizens Energy Group. "As our rivers and streams become cleaner, neighborhoods will be revitalized."

The Deep Rock Tunnel Connector is the first of five tunnels, in a tunnel system now called DIG INDY, being constructed underground to reduce Indianapolis' combined sewage overflow problem. Once complete, the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector will be 18 feet in diameter, 250 feet below ground, and eight miles long. DIG INDY will span 25 miles and will capture and store 250 millions of gallons of raw sewage for treatment.

"Construction on the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector started in 2012," said Lykins. "The fact that the contractor, a joint venture between J.F Shea and Kiewit (S-K JV), is nearly halfway finished with boring puts this project almost one year ahead of schedule."

The tunnel contractor is already earning national recognition for swift work on this project. S-K JV recently bored 410 feet in 24 hours, setting a world record for tunnel boring machines of similar size.

"This project continues to amaze for its efficiency, cost savings and how quickly it will clean up the city’s waterways," said Mayor Ballard. "DIG INDY will not only be the largest public works project in the history of the city, it will also be one of the most transformational as it will open our waterways to development, recreation and enjoyment in ways never previously imagined."

Some of the most visible improvements to the water and wastewater system can be seen at the two wastewater treatment plants. Capacity at the Belmont Wastewater Treatment Plant recently doubled, expanding from 150 million gallons to 300 million gallons per day. This fall, Citizens will bid a project to expand capacity at the Southport Wastewater Treatment Plant from 125 million gallons to 270 million gallons per day. These expansions are in preparation for the additional sewage Citizens will be treating once DIG INDY and other sewage control measure are complete.

All five of the DIG INDY tunnels are on schedule to be finished by 2025. For more information about DIG INDY, visit DigIndyTunnel.com.


DIG INDY is a 25-mile tunnel system 250 feet underground. DIG INDY will greatly reduce sewage overflow into Indiana waterways, and improve water quality. When complete, the DIG INDY  tunnels will hold more than 250 million gallons of sewage during and after wet weather, and pump that sewage to the wastewater treatment plants when capacity becomes available. DIG INDY is funded through wastewater rates and is expected to be complete in 2025 at a cost of nearly one billion dollars.

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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