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DigIndy Tunnel System Completion Plan Announced

INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group announced today a plan for the completion of the DigIndy Tunnel System that will result in $70 million of additional savings and a further reduction in potential sewer overflows now impacting area rivers and streams.
Citizens announced that J.F. Shea and Kiewit (S-K JV), the current tunnel contractor, is expected to be awarded an estimated $500 million contract to complete the remaining 18 miles of tunnel and drop shafts to be built over the next 9 years. DigIndy is a 28-mile network of concrete tunnels being constructed 250 feet beneath Indianapolis to prevent sewage overflows from reaching area waterways during moderate rain events.
DigIndy and the associated expansion of the utility’s two sewage treatment plants are the primary components of an approximate $2 billion plan to nearly eliminate sewage overflows to areas streams by the year 2025 in accordance with a Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Our plan to complete the DigIndy Tunnel System significantly under budget while further reducing sewage overflows represents a big win for our customers, the community and the environment,” said Jeffrey Harrison, President & Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Energy Group. “Thanks to the value engineering efforts of Citizens technical team and its partners, such as S-K JV, we have increased the savings on the Consent Decree from $330 million to $400 million.  Citizens’ original plan required it to prevent 95 percent of raw sewage overflows from reaching most area streams.  Under the new plan Citizens will prevent 99 percent of potential sewage overflows from reaching area waterways.”
Mayor Joe Hogsett said the DigIndy Project will produce remarkable benefits for the community. “By restoring our rivers and streams to levels not seen in over 100 years, DigIndy will enhance recreational opportunities, facilitate neighborhood redevelopment, and improve overall quality of life across Central Indiana,” Hogsett said. “Citizens and its partner Shea Keiwit have positioned DigIndy as a model for how the public and private sectors can work together to achieve better outcomes for the community and the environment.”
Hogsett added that today’s announcement should not overshadow the benefits Citizens has already delivered since acquiring the community’s water and wastewater utilities. “Since 2011, Citizens has invested more than $1 billion in the water and wastewater utilities to improve the reliability of both systems while preventing over 3 billion gallons of raw sewage per year from reaching area waterways,” Hogsett said. “Citizens’ utility investments are making Indianapolis a more livable and sustainable city.”
Harrison explained that as each segment of DigIndy opens additional benefits will result. “Late next year when the first 10 miles of the DigIndy Tunnel System open an additional 1 billion gallons of raw sewage per year will be prevented from overflowing into the White River and Eagle Creek.”
Hogsett commented that Citizens’ investments in utility infrastructure are making significant contributions to economic development. “The DigIndy Project is creating or supporting good paying jobs across Central Indiana in several fields, including engineering, construction, and trucking. Of course these jobs also add to our local tax base that supports an array of community needs from schools to roads,” Hogsett commented.
A recent economic impact study commissioned by Citizens estimates that the utility will invest more than $4 billion in its water, wastewater and natural gas systems from 2011-2025. The study estimates these investments will create or support 58,000 jobs in Indiana that will generate more than $450 million of state and local taxes.
“While we are pleased with our progress in keeping DigIndy on schedule and below budget, our employees are continuously looking for ways to achieve additional savings on other projects while maximizing benefits to the community and the environment,” said Harrison. “As we prepare to participate in Earth Day activities this Saturday, the DigIndy Project is restoring our waterways to once again make them cherished community assets.”
For more information, visit DigIndy.

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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