Who is MamaJo?

No words in hair name under
No doubt, the hardest worker on Fort Wayne’s Deep Rock Tunnel project, at 24-hours a day, is the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).  Today, that worker has a name, and it’s MamaJo.
Derived from taking the first two letters from Fort Wayne’s three rivers, the Ma from Marys, Ma from Maumee and Jo from Joseph, MamaJo seems only fitting for a project that’s had an engineer's working title of the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel (3RPORT).  And so MamaJo becomes the protector of our rivers.
Mining lore says that as far back as the 1500s, workers prayed to Saint Barbara for protection while working in the dark underground.  Since then it’s been tradition to name the tunnel boring machine.
Soon, MamaJo standing at a diameter of more than 20-feet and stretching more than 400-feet in length will begin her journey on one of the most significant public infrastructure projects in the history of the Community.  She will grind through bedrock to build a five-mile-long sewer tunnel, more than 200-feet under the earth’s surface, with an interior diameter of 16-feet.

Fort Wayne Famous!

The day MamaJo was officially given her name, MamaJo became famous. She was featured on TV, radio, and in the newspaper! Here are some of the places where she was featured:

Visit MamaJo

Earlier this year, City Utilities worked with neighborhood leaders and students at New Tech High School and Towels Middle School to come up with possible names for the TBM.  Students voted to narrow the list to four, and the community voted online to choose a winner.  MamaJo was an overwhelming winner with more than 43% of the vote. 
Residents of all ages are showing interest in the tunnel, and so MamaJo will host tours on Sunday, September 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the working shaft site near the intersection of Dwenger and Glasgow Avenue.   Look for more information about the tours in the coming weeks.

Going to Work

MamaJo is expected to start her journey and begin digging the tunnel later this year.  Completion of the tunnel boring is expected by 2021, and the intricate connection to the many neighborhood sewers by in 2023.  The tunnel will be operational in 2023.
The deep-rock tunnel is a significant portion of the effort to clean-up Fort Wayne’s rivers and protects neighborhoods from basement back-ups and street flooding. 

Tunnel Glossary

Combined Sewer - Sewer pipes designed to collect both sanitary wastewater and rain water runoff.  Construction of combined  sewers was the accepted practice from the early 1900s until the early  1970s when the Clean Water Act was passed and the Environmental Protection Agency was created.
Combined Sewer Overflow - When it rains, combined sewers do not have enough capacity to carry all of the combined wastewater (sewage) and rain water to the Water Pollution Control (sewage treatment) Plant and/or the Plant does not have enough capacity to accept and treat all of the combined sewage.  The combined sewer system was designed so that in these situations some of the combined sewage could be discharged into the nearest body of water – in Fort Wayne’s case one of the three rivers – creating a combined sewer overflow (CSO).
Consolidation Sewer - A near-surface sewer that will be constructed to collect sewage from several existing sewers that will direct sewage to a drop shaft that connects to the deep rock tunnel.
Construction or Open Trench - An excavation typically deeper than it is wide, dug to allow a sewer pipe to be constructed.  An open trench is the typical construction method for near-surface infrastructure.  Once the sewer pipe has been placed in the trench, the trench is filled with material that will hold the pipe in place – often called bedding material.  Then the trench is filled with topsoil and planted with grass or restored to a condition similar to that which existed before the trench was dug.
Cutter Head - The round structure attached to the front of a tunnel boring machine that holds smaller cutting wheels.
Dewatering Pump - A pump that removes water.  In the case of the Tunnel Works, a 30 million gallon per day (MGD) dewatering pump station will be used to drain wastewater from the tunnel after the tunnel is used during a wet weather event.  During large rain events, most of the wastewater collected in the tunnel will siphon from the tunnel into storage ponds near the Water Pollution Control Plant.  The wastewater that cannot be pushed to the surface through the action of the siphon will be pumped to the surface by dewatering pumps.
Drop Shaft - A four to eight feet diameter, vertical shaft that will provide the connection between near surface sewers and the tunnel, allowing wastewater to drop to the tunnel depth.
Near Surface Sewers - The system of sewer pipes and related structures located underground that may be within a few feet of the surface or as deep as 20 to 30 feet below ground.  Other non-sewer infrastructure located near the surface may include water lines, gas lines, buried electrical lines, fiber-optic cable and other buried utilities.
Outfall - The location where a flow from one drainage or sewer system enters into a larger system or into a body of water such as a creek, river or lake.
Pump Station - A structure containing pumps and piping, valves and other mechanical or electrical equipment for pumping water, wastewater or other liquids.
Regulator - A configuration of pipes within the combined sewer system that directs sanitary sewage to the Water Pollution Control Plant when it is not raining.  When it rains, a sewer system regulator functions to direct as much combined sewage as possible to the WPCP for treatment while allowing some of the combined sewage to be diverted to a river (or to the tunnel in the future).  By allowing combined sewage to be discharged from the sewer system or directed to the tunnel in the future, regulators help protect the Water Pollution Control Plant from being overloaded and help to reduce the likelihood of street flooding and basement backups.  The regulator may consist of a weir in a sewer line.
Retrieval Shaft - The location where the tunnel boring machine will complete its approximate 5 mile-long journey and will be dismantled and brought to the surface.
Siphon - A means by which liquid is lifted from a lower level to a higher level using the pressure and weight of the liquid itself to push the liquid up.  Liquid moving by means of siphon action does not require a pump.
Tunnel - An underground pipe that provides transportation and/or temporary storage of wastewater.  Tunneling is a construction method that involves little surface disruption.
Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) - A steerable machine with a round cutter head on the front and conveyors inside that cuts through bedrock and allows the cut bedrock to be removed from the back of the machine.  The machine cuts a round tunnel through the rock that can then be lined with concrete or other pipe material.
Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) - Also referred to as the sewage treatment plant, it is the facility that cleans and treats sanitary wastewater and combined sewage using various physical, bacteriological and chemical methods.  The cleaned water that leaves the plant must meet a variety of federal and state water quality regulations.
Wet Weather Ponds - Multi-million gallon constructed ponds where wastewater from the existing combined sewer system, and from the tunnel in the future, can be stored during wet weather.  When the wet weather ends, the combined storage that has been stored in the ponds can be pumped into the Water Pollution Control Plant for complete treatment.
Weir - a dam-like structure inside a combined sewer pipe located where two or more sewer lines come together that helps direct the flow of wastewater.  When it is not raining, the level of wastewater in the pipe is below the top of the weir and wastewater flows to the WPCP.  When it rains and the sewer pipe fills up, wastewater goes over the top of the weir.  The flow that overtops the weir is directed into a second pipe and may be discharged to a water body as a combined sewer overflow.  Once the tunnel is constructed, weirs will help direct sewage into the tunnel during most wet weather events.
Working Shaft - The location at the water Pollution Control Plant where the tunnel boring machine will enter the ground to begin its five-mile underground journey.

Combined Sewers

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What are CSOs and where are they located?

Some cities, such as Fort Wayne, collect both rainwater runoff and sanitary wastewater in the same set of sewer pipes. These are called "combined sewers." Sometimes when it rains, combined sewers do not have enough capacity to carry all the rainwater and wastewater (sewage) to the Water Pollution Control Plant and/or the Plant does not have the capacity to accept all of the combined flow. In this situation, the combined wastewater then overflows from the collection system into the nearest body of water -- in Fort Wayne's case, into one of the three rivers -- creating a combined sewer overflow (CSO).
Combined Sewers serve many communities especially in the northeast and Great Lakes region of the United States. Fort Wayne has a typical combined sewer system. In Fort Wayne, combined sewers are found most in the older part of the City. Fort Wayne has 44 combined sewer overflow outfalls locations going to the three rivers and their tributaries.

combined sewers graphic


How do CSOs affect the Fort Wayne Community?

During dry weather, combined sewers that serve the older part of Fort Wayne carry sanitary sewage from homes and businesses to the Water Pollution Control Plant without incident. However, when it rains, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) happen due to the volume of water entering the pipe system thus pushing it past its capacity. As a result, river quality may be impaired by the untreated wastewater that discharges from combined sewers into the City's three rivers at overflow locations.
The main pollutants in CSOs are untreated human and industrial wastes, toxic materials like oil and pesticides, and floating debris that may wash into the sewer system. These pollutants can affect your health of anyone recreating in CSO-polluted water. The pollutants in CSOs can impair use of the rivers and cause a variety of bacteria-related illness. CSO pollutants are not just a human health concern, they also damage the environment of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life.

How is the City managing and decreasing the impact of CSOs?

City Utilities is committed to updating and improving its sewer system to meet federal mandates and protect river water quality by significantly reducing the number of combined sewer overflow events (CSOs). Sewer system improvement plans are described in several documents that have been prepared by City Utilities and reviewed and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) includes general descriptions of projects the City Utilities will construct to reduce the amount of combined sewage being discharged to the St. Joseph, St. Marys and Maumee Rivers during rain fall and snow melt.

The Capacity Management, Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) program is an outline of how City Utilities will maintain and operate the sanitary sewer systems.

The LTCP and the CMOM have been incorporated into a Consent Decree - a legally binding document entered into by the City Utilities, the US EPA, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the US Department of Justice. The Consent Decree may be enforced by a federal judge and it contains provision for City Utilities to be fined and penalized for failure to carry out the LTCP and the CMOM. The Consent Decree also outlines steps City Utilities will take to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows.


City Utilities also operates the combined sewer system according to a Combined Sewer System Operation Plan (CSSOP). This document was created to comply with the US EPA's Combined Sewer Overflow Control Policy and specified many of the activities City Utilities undertakes to operate the combined sewer system.

Facts and FAQs

Read all  Fast Facts about the Tunnel Works Program here.

Find Questions and Answers about Tunnel Works Program here.

Check out the Tunnel Works route map here. 

Tunnel Graphic



July 9, 2021 -- Parts of MamaJo will be coming out of the drop shaft at Foster Park later this month. Meanwhile, work continues at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive).  The photo on the left shows continued work below, and on the right, we see the utility hole pipe arrive for installation.

76003 2021 07 08 DS05 Picture of excavation in morning 76003 2021 07 08 DS05 Pipe arrived on flatbed

July 7, 2021 -- Crews drained most of the water and muck to allow a photo of MamaJo in the drop shaft at Foster Park.Full shot w flagsCutterhead CU in Foster Park


July 2, 2021 – The little over a 2-year journey for MamaJo is complete! She reached her destination at Foster Park. In our offices at City Utilities, we’ve followed her journey by coloring in her locations through the project, and this week – we were able to color the last connection. 

 IMG 0352IMG 0343

The photos below show the June 30, 2021 celebration of MamaJo reaching her Foster Park destination. Behind Mayor Henry are neighborhood leaders and members of the citizens’ group – the Utility Advisory Group.

 DSC 1163

DSC 1225

MamaJo’s completion has some impressive stats: 

  • Journey of 24,519 feet (nearly 5 miles) of the tunnel dug
  • 14 million tons (28 billion pounds) of material mined 
  • 4,878 concrete rings; each consists of six segments

Meanwhile, at drop shaft #5 (Thieme Drive), crews spent the week compacting and backfilling the nearly four-story structure built under the street.  Photo from June 29, 2021.

76003 2021 06 29 DS05 Compacting backfill 1


June 25, 2021 -- MamaJo is getting closer to the end of her journey. Today she's between Illsley Drive and Rudisill Boulevard.  Below is a photo taken inside the tunnel on June 21.  You can see the concrete slabs in place that form the ring. The pipes on the left are pulling crushed stone out of the tunnel. The yellow tube above supplies air. 

Tunnel June 21 2021

Work at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) shows stone being dumped for backfill, and on the right, you see a machine compacting the backfill. Week of June 21-25, 2021

76003 2021 06 23 DS05 Dumping stone into excavation with loader  76003 2021 06 24 DS05 Using compactor on backfill 1


June 18, 2021 -- MamaJo is under the Bluffton Bridge and approaching Foster Park.  The map below shows her location today.  

Mamajo Week of June 14 

Photos below are drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive)  on the left is the coarse screen instllation and on the right a rare look from underneath shows the fine creen anchor beam. (June 14-18, 2021)

76003 2021 06 15 DS05 Installing coarse screen section 176003 2021 06 14 DS05 fine screen anchor beam 1

June 11, 2021 -- MamaJo's journey has less than 1,000 feet to go. She's getting close!  Below you can see a worker on MamaJo installing an upper ring -- number 4,664.  

Ring 4400

The photo below shows progress at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where crews have completed the diversion structure and carpenters have joined construction workers to work on the deck formation. 

West Central progress


June 4, 2021 -- Map below shows MamaJo's location on June 1. Underground,  crews continue to work in the tight quarters.  Photo shows them connecting the dewatering pumps in the erector pit. Also below -- concrete work at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive). 

June 1 2020 MamaJo proress on the map

Pump Installation Concrete WC


May 28, 2021 -- MamaJo is under a 1/2 mile to go.  In photo below crews perform maintenance to keep grout system operating propertly. 

Cleaning the grout system on the TBM 



May 21, 2021 -- Progress continues on drop shaft #5 (Thieme Drive).  Below you can see the challenging work as crews build the large structure underground.  This week, work continued on the diversion structure and the flap gate was installed.  May 17-21, 2021

76003 2021 05 18 DS05 Crew finishing fillet in north side of diversion structure 76003 2021 05 17 DS05 Using concrete bucket to place concrete for fillet

                  76003 2021 05 19 075453772


May 14, 2021 – MamaJo continues her journey near the Vesey Neighborhood this week. Photos below show drop shaft 1 (Foster Park) looking eye-level on left and down into the hole on the right. May 11, 2021

76003 2021 05 11 DS01 top lander away from shaft76003 2021 05 11 DS01 rock drill at the bottom of the hole 


Below drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) on the left the south exterior forms are removed on the right workers are setting the slide gate on the east wall of the diversion structure.  May 13, 2021

76003 2021 05 13 DS05 South exterior forms removed 76003 2021 05 13 DS05 Setting slide gate on east wall of diversion structure


May 7, 2021 – Noticeable progress continues above ground at drop shafts along the tunnel route this week.  Below are photos at drop shaft 6 (Camp Allen Drive), where concrete sidewalk, curb, gutter and alley restoration occurred just south of the drop shaft.  A consolidation sewer is still to come.  

pouring sidewalk on DS 6 restorationDS 6 concrete curb gutter sidewalk

 Photos below, show the vent shaft in place at drop shaft 2 (Waldron Circle), and demobilization at drop shaft 3 (Brown Street).  Photos from week of May 3-7.

DS 2 vent pipe restorationrestoration demobilization at DS 3

April 30, 2021 – MamaJo continues her journey to Foster Park and this week is in line with Wildwood Avenue. Below left is a photo of crews installing risers on lids at drop shaft three (Brown Street) and crews working on the grout gantry in the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel (3RPORT).

76003 2021 04 23 DS03 Installing risers on lids76003 2021 04 28 SG Relocating Secondary Grout Gantry from R990 to R999


April 23, 2021 – The photos below show the vortex installation at drop shaft 3 (Brown Street).  The vortex is used to deter odor.  It weighs 2,700 pounds, is 10-feet tall, and 6.5-feet in diameter.

 76003 2021 04 19 DS03 swinging vortex into shaft76003 2021 04 19 DS03 Vortex in the shaft

Photos below show progress at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where the frames were removed from the concrete structure. The photo on the right shows the connection of a 72-inch pipe. (Week of April 19-23, 2021)

76003 2021 04 19 DS05 South wall of drop shaft structure 76003 2021 04 21 DS05 72 inch pipe installed

April 16, 2021 – MamaJo continues her journey to Foster Park this week and progress continues the drop shafts.  Check out this recent drone footage at drop shafts 1, 3, and 5.  Week of April 12 Aerial Footage.

Below is a photo of work on the Consolidation Sewer near Third Street.  The sewer is an extension of the pipe recently placed under the St. Marys River.  It will reduce combined sewer overflows on the northside of the St. Marys River and transport it to the drop shaft at Headwater Park where it will connect to the tunnel

Consolidation Sewer at third street April 14 2021

Monday - April 12, 2-21 -- Mamajo hit the 4-mile mark at around 11:00pm on Friday April 9.  That puts her just about even with drop shaft 2 (Waldron Circle) and means less than a mile to go. Below is a photo of the crew celebrating and a look a look at the updated mpay from today (4/12/21)

76003 2021 04 09 TBM Crew at the 4 mile ring 7 002April 12 2021 map update 4 mile


Friday April, 9, 2021 – MamaJo is nearing the 4-mile mark -- which should happen sometime this weekend. Meanwhile, crews at drop shaft 1 (Foster Park) completed the concrete liner pour.

76003 2021 04 06 DS01 14th and final pour76003 2021 04 06 DS01 getting ready for pour

April 2, 2021 – A busy week at the drop shafts.  Here’s a video link from activity at drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) and drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive). Click this video link April 2, 2021 Drop Shaft Work

March 26, 2021 --   MamaJo is closing in on the 4-mile mark.  Currently she’s drilled 20,637 feet with another 3,927 go -- just under 3/4 of a mile to go.  Below lef is drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) where crews were removing dirt this week and on the right drop shaft 5 where crews were working on the east wall of rebar for the diversion structure. (week of Mar 22-26).

76003 2021 03 19 ds03 removing dirt that was not excavated76003 2021 03 22 DS05 East wall of rebar for diversion structure

Photo below shows water ingress flowafter drilling through packer. The photo gives us a good look at the pipes and tubing installed to build the tunnel that will come out when it's completed.  Pipes and tubes connect elctrical, air/oxygen flow, slurry system, etc. As of today (3/26/21) -- crews have installed 4,082 - one-foot thick concrete rings to line the tunnel.  They have 785 left to install.   It takes six concrete slabs to make one ring. 

76003 2021 03 23 SG R978 3 OC Water ingress flow after drilling through packer


March 19, 2020 – Drop shaft work continues throughout the tunnel works program.  Photos below taken this week -- on the left where we see drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where the thimble which provides a fixed dimensional opening to the pipe and diversion structure was installed and ironworkers -place rebar. The photo on the right shows view from inside drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) where wall ties were removed.

76003 2021 03 16 DS05 waterstop installed around 60 inch RCP 76003 2021 03 17 DS03 Removing Wall Ties

Below on left we see the vortex installation at drop shaft 7 (Guldlin Park) and rebar installation at drop shaft 1 (Foster Park). Week of March 15-19.

76003 2021 03 12 ds7 vortex76003 2021 03 16 DS01 rebar

March 12, 2021 -  MamaJo should be hitting the 4-mile mark later this month. Below left shows workers at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where progress continues on the diviersion structure.  The left photo shows crews backfilling the area at dropshaft 2 (Waldron Circle). 

76003 2021 03 08 DS05 Carpenter removing filler strip from interior forms 76003 2021 03 08 ds2 structural backfill

Worker below is securing the gantry legs to the concrete liner inside the tunnelm.  March 10, 2021. 

76003 2021 03 10 SG Securing gantry legs to segment walls with come alongs ay R957

March 5, 2021 – Work continues under and above ground on tunnel projects.

Below at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) iron worker install forms. Week of March 1, 2021

76003 2021 03 02 DS05 Ironworkers tying rebar around 60 inch pipe76003 2021 03 02 DS05 Completed north wall of rebar

Below on left -  drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) lowering forms, center- drop shaft 7 (Guldlin Park) showing vent, right - drop shaft 1 (Foster Park) showing scalfolding. Week of March 1, 2021

76003 2021 03 03 ds3 wall steel going in76003 2021 02 26 ds 7 vent p I ping76003 2021 03 03 ds1 scaffolding set

Below maintenance work continues on MamaJo, 220 feet underground. Week of March 1, 2021

76003 2021 03 04 SG Making adjustments to the grout platform handrail 176003 2021 03 04 SG Cleaning up equipment around the gantry 

March 4, 2021 -- One Mile To Go!  Crews hit the milestone during second shift on March 3, 2021, making the remaining journey for MamaJo one mile. Below (row 1) is second shift crew and elow are 1st and 3rdshift crews who celebrate in the achievement. 

76003 2021 03 03 TBM Second Shift 1 mile remaining photo of crew 3

 76003 2021 03 03 TBM 1mile remaining 1st shift76003 2021 03 03 tun 1 mile to go 3rd shift 002


February 25, 2021  – MamaJo continues her journey and is approaching the one-mile left to go mark. Along the route – work is on-going for our drop shafts and consolidation sewers that will connect neighborhood flow to the shafts and the tunnel.

This week's photos show the Third Street Consolidation sewer which will take flow from neighborhoods north of the St. Marys.  The portion of the pipe under the river has wrapped up and piles were removed.The pipe still has about 3 blocks to go -- heading north toward third street.   The last photo shows tire track markings heading up to Third Street.  The last part of the pipe (about three blocks long)will be constructed under the route where the tire tracks are.  Week of February 22, 2021. 

LOooking toward downtownOverhead looking North over Harrison

Overhead at Harrison showing pile removal and downtown in backgroundPiles almost Gone

consolidation sewer path to complete 3rd street



Februay 19, 2021 For the second week in a row, heavy snow caused delays construction delays. Still, MamaJo, unaffected by the weather, continued moving 200 feet underground and has crossed under the Hale Street Bridge.

Photos below row 1 l-r drop shaft 2 (Waldron Circle), 3 (Brown Street), 5 (Thieme Drive) interrupted by snow on Monday 2/15.  Row 2 l-r drop shaft 6 (Camp Allen, 7 (Guldlin Park), 2/15 and finally work later in the week on drop shaft 3 were crews are working on form frames

76003 2021 02 15 ds2. no one onsite 76003 2021 02 15 ds3 no one onsite 76003 2021 02 15 ds5 no one onsite

76003 2021 02 15 ds6 no one onsite 76003 2021 02 15 ds7 no one is onsite 76003 2021 02 16 103746357

February 12, 2021 – A heavy snow and cold temperatures caused some delays this week especially where they were pouring concrete. 

Below on the left shows where crews covered the rebar to protect the form frames at drop shaft 3 (Brown Street).  On the right a crane is lowering a worker basket into the retrieval shaft (drop shaft 1) at Foster Park. Week of February 8-12, 2021.

           76003 2021 02 05 DS03 Plastic over rebar          76003 2021 02 08 DS01 Crane lowering man basket into shaft 1

Below you can see works 130 feet down at Foster Park.  Week of February 8-12, 2021.

76003 2021 02 08 DS01 Crew tying rebar for next lift of shaft liner76003 2021 02 08 DS01 Crew tying rebar for next lift of shaft liner CLOSE UP

February 5, 2021 – MamaJo has passed drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) and is just north of the Hale Avenue bridge today.  This week saw 8-inches of snow which caused some delays on above ground operations – but work is continuing.

Progress continues the consolidation sewer under the St. Marys, near the Harrison Street Bridge. In the photos below, you can see that crews are working inside the steel beams at a depth that is under the current river level. That’s why the coffer dams are needed.  Week of Jan 31-Feb 5, 2021

 76467 21 02 02 pipe 176467 21 02 01 pipe 176467 21 02 02 pipe 5

Photo below on the left shows drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where crews were finishing concrete for the drop shaft base slab. On the right crews work on the walls of drop shaft 3 (Brown Street). Week of Jan 31-Feb 5, 2021

76003 2021 01 29 DS05 finiahing concrete for drop shaft base slab 176003 2021 01 28 ds3 shaft walls

Below crews dealt with a significant snow fall that caused delays early in the week.  Week of Jan 31-Feb 5, 2021

76003 2021 02 02 DS05 Moving snow with backhoe 76467 21 02 01 pipe 5 City downtown in the background76003 2021 02 02 DS05 Crew clearing snow on site

January 29, 2021 – As MamaJo moves further away from her starting point near Dwenger and Glasgow Avenue, booster pumps are needed to keep the slurry lines operating for the tunneling process.   That met some down time this week as she sits just south of Taylor. But work still progressed at the drop shaft locations.

Below at drop shaft #1 (Foster Park) you see on the left where crews have set forms. The photo on the right shows the walls looking upward. Week of Jan 25-29, 2021.

 76003 2021 01 22 ds1 rebar 76003 2021 01 22 ds1 walls

Below crews at drop shaft drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) had icecicles and in 2nd row left they installed heat items. On the second row - Right- is drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where crews placed rebar for the diversion structure slab. Week of Jan 25-29, 2021.

76003 2021 01 19 ds3 ice hanging weather 76003 2021 01 19 ds3 ice hanging weather 2

 76003 2021 01 19 ds3 installing heat 76003 2021 01 25 DS05 Tying rebar for diversion structure base slab  

January 22, 2021 – Today MamaJo is just south of Taylor Street, making her way toward Foster Park.

Photos below left – Crane removing temporary pipe at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) on the right crews are placing concrete around the drop shaft - week of Jan 18-22, 2021

 76003 2021 01 19 DS05 Crane removing hobus pipe76003 2021 01 20 DS05 Placing concrete around drop shaft

Photo below on left shows dept of drop shaft 7 (Guldlin Park) shows the depth of the structure – on the right we see crews completing the rebar form at drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) - week of Jan 18-22, 2021

76003 2021 01 15 ds7 structure 76003 2021 01 15 ds3 rebar done

January 15, 2020 – MamaJo’s journey is 70 percent complete.  Today she’s about 300 feet north of Taylor Street.  Meanwhile related work in neighborhoods along the St. Marys and Maumee River continues with drop shaft and consolidation sewer work.

Below - Photo on left shows crews pouring the mud mat at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) so they can continue work.  The work on Thieme is two projects the drop shaft and a consolidation sewer. On the right we see the wall being formed inside drop shaft 1 (Foster Park). January 8-14, 2021.

76003 2021 01 13 DS05 Workers spreading and finishing mud mat76003 2021 01 08 ds1 forming wall 

Below work at drop shaft 2 (Waldron Circle) shows crews working on the duct bank on the left and photo on the right is of workers installing bolts on vent. January 8-14, 2021.

76003 2021 01 08 ds2 getting ready to pour duct bank76003 2021 01 08 ds2 installing bolts on vent piping  

Consolidation sewer under the St. Marys River, near the Harrison Street Bridge sees crews pouring placing forms below the river level and pouring flowable fill over pipes installed. January 8-14, 2021.

76467 2021 13 1 Pouring flowable fill over pipe76467 2021 13 1 Pouring flowable fill over pipe

January 8, 2021 - Drop shaft work continues thorughout the tunnel route as we enter the year when MamaJo is expected to finish her five mile journey. 

Photos below (left) drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where crews are installing interior walls. on the (right) the phot shows a nearly completed drop shaft 7 at (Guldlin Park)   Week of January 4-8, 2021. 

76003 2021 01 04 ds5 installing interior wells 76003 2021 01 04 DS07 Plug after SpecGrout placed inside to stop water

Photos below (left) drop shaft 1 (Foster Park) waith wall work underway.   Week of January 4-8, 2021. 

76003 2020 12 30 114751830 1 DS1 76003 2021 01 06 ds1 walls 1


December 31, 2020 – We are heading into a big year – 2021!  MamaJo is scheduled to complete her nearly 5-mile journey. This week work continued at drop shaft location sand in the tunnel.

Photos below (left) drop shaft 2 (Waldron Circle) where they are pouring of concrete, and (right) forms being hoisted to go down drop shaft 1 (Foster Park).  Week of December 28-31, 2020.

76003 2020 12 29 ds2 first load of concrete 76003 2020 12 29 ds1 flying in forms

Photos below l-r show drop shaft 3 (Brown Street) where excavation is continuing, drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) where they are vacuuming and clearing out water to place the casing for the pump and inside view of the concrete structure at drop shaft 7 ( Guldlin Park).

76003 2020 12 29 DS03 Continnuing to excavate 76003 2020 12 28 DS05 Vacuuming to place casing for pump 76003 2020 12 29 DS07 Inside view of structure a

December 23, 2020 – Crews will break for the holiday, but work continued this week.

Photos below show drop shaft 1 (Foster Park) crews installed the base mat and began installying the sensors. Week of Dec 20-23.

76003 2020 12 21 ds1 installing sensor Copy76003 2020 12 21 ds1 installing sensor Copy

76003 2020 12 21 ds1 sump pit Copy76003 2020 12 21 ds1 sump pit Copy

Below - photo on the left shows sheeting being removed at drop shaft 7 (Guldlin Park) and work at drop shaft 2 (Waldron Circle) Week of Dec 20-23.

76003 2020 12 18 ds2 ers removal 76003 2020 12 18 ds2 ers removal

December 18, 2020 -- Mamajo has crossed under the RR tracks south of Jefferson Boulevard  and is heading south following the path of the St. Marys to Foster Park. 

Work on the consolidation sewer under the St. Marys River continues. Below are photos of crews pumpiing out water inside the coffer dams so they can continue the work. This view is just east of the Harrison Street bridge. Week of December 13-18, 2020. 

76467 2020 12 15 excavator work at Harrison Street for 3rd street pump station consolidation76467 2020 12 15 excavator work at Harrison Street for 3rd street pump station consolidation

At drop shaft #2  forms being pulled out and progress at drop shaft #3 (Brown Street) on the right.  Week of December 13-18, 2020. 

76003 2020 12 15 ds2 removing ers system  76003 2020 12 15 ds3 excavation

 December 11, 2020 -- Drop shafts 2,6 and 7 are moving into their final stages.  Week of Dec-11

At drop shaft #2  below (Waldron Circle) the vortex was installed this week. Below is a wide shot showing the space it will be lowered into and here is a video link of the lower from 12-10-20.

76003 2020 12 08 ds2 removing ers system 76003 2020 12 09 ds2 vortex delivered

At drop shaft #6 below (Camp Allen) crews working to restore.  Photo on right shows progress at drop shaft #5 (Thieme Drive) where workers continue installing support beams. 

Week of Dec-11

76003 2020 12 08 ds6 backfilling 176003 2020 12 09 ds5 access ladder

At drop shaft #7 below (Guldlin Park) crews removed dewatering pumps, compacted sand and tested the compaction.  Photo on the right shows drop shaft #3 (Brown Street/Hale Avenue) where crewxcavation continues around the drop shaft. 

Week of Dec-11

76003 2020 12 09 DS07 compacting sand with vibratory compactor 76003 2020 12 09 ds3 kokosing continues to dig


December 5, 2020 – MamaJo hit the three-mile mark on Thursday, December 3, 2020.   She’s just crossed under Jefferson Blvd. and is heading south.  

MamaJo with 3 mile sign morning of 12 3 2020

Photos below show drop shaft 5 on left (Thieme Drive) and progress with casing from dewatering pipe cut flush to excavation. On the right we see worker welding the whaler. Week of Nov 3-Dec 4

 76003 2020 12 02 DS05 Hardman welding waler on east wall76003 2020 12 02 DS05 Hardman welding waler on east wall

Photos below show drop shaft 7 (Guldlin Park) where the forms are being removed. Week of Nov 3-Dec 4

76003 2020 12 02 DS07 Crane removing EFCO form A 76003 2020 12 02 DS07 All EFCO forms removed smaller

Photos for below show that crews have moved to a different location on construction of the Third Street Pump Station Consolidation Sewer.  Crews are pumping out water from inside the cofferdam so they can get to work on the next phase. Week of Nov 3-Dec 4

Third Street Pump Station Consolidation Sewer CU of dumping water 

November 25, 2020 – Progress continues for the tunnel and several connecting projects. MamaJo is under the Swinney Park pond this week.

Photos below are the Third Street Consolidation Sewer project – going under the river.  Photo on the left shows the sheeting that his holding back the water and on the right you can see the form and if you look to the right hand corner of the photo you see a work, that would actually be under water if it wasn’t for the sheeting.  At the top of the photo you can see the inside of the sheeting wall that surrounds the workers. Week of November 23, 2020.

76467 2020 11 23 site photo 1a76467 2020 11 23 site photo 1a

At drop shaft #7 below (Guldlin Park) you see on the left photo how deep the workers are as you can count the rungs on the ladders.  On the right you see the concrete forms and the drop shaft at the top.  Week of November 23, 2020.

76003 2020 11 20 DS07 Top slab forms finished 76003 2020 11 20 DS07 Top slab forms finished

November 20, 2020 -- MamaJo has completed 61% of her journey and is under Swinney Park today.  She’s still making the turn to head south toward Foster Park.

Photo on left at drop shaft #2 (Waldron Circle) is more than 80% complete and photo on right shows work this week at drop shaft #3 (Brown Street) at about 75% complete (week of Nov 14-20)

76003 2020 11 17 DS03 Progress picture 1 76003 2020 11 17 DS03 Progress picture 1

Below shows his week's excafaction atdrop shaft #5 on the right (Thieme Drive) and #7 (Guldlin Park)  on the left (week of Nov 14-20)

76003 2020 11 18 DS05 Mini excavator hammering concrete structure 76003 2020 11 18 DS05 Mini excavator hammering concrete structure

Photos from DS #6 (Camp Allen Drive) show the progress using both poured and precast concrete (week of Nov 14-20)

76003 2020 11 17 DS06 placing concrete around lid with dump bucket76003 2020 11 17 DS06 placing concrete around lid with dump bucket

November 13, 2020 - Crews set the vortex in drop shaft 5 this week as work continued throughout the tunnel route. The vortex is used to deter odor and corrison caused by wastewater. 

Drop shaft 6 at Camp Allen Drive - Vortex at 2,700 pounds, 10-feet high and 6.5-feet in diameter is now in place. 

Click to watch video of vortex lowering

76003 2020 11 12 DS06 Drilling for restraining strap mount for vortex


Drop shaft 7 at Guldlin Park - form work continues. 

76003 2020 11 11 DS07 Installing EFCO form on east wall 1


Work at the consolidation sewer that goes under the river continues near drop shaft #9 - Headwater Park West. 

76467 2020 12 11 Site Dowels 676467 2020 12 11 Site Dowels 6

76467 2020 12 11 Site Dowels 6



November 7, 2020 -  MamaJo is under Swinney Park this week making her journey south. Drop shaft work continued throughout the route this week. Photos below show drop shaft 6 and 7. 

Drop shaft 7 at Guldlin Park - Photo 1 shows the massive size of the work with workers on the side. Photo 2 shows the lowering of a concrete form. Week of Nov 2-6 

76003 2020 10 30 DS07 Tying rebar along south wall 176003 2020 11 05 DS07 Placing EFCO form

Drop shaft 6 at Camp Allen Drive - work is about 90% complete. In the second photo you see a closeup of the vortext that will be hoisted and lowered down the drop shaft later this month. Week of Nov 2-6

76003 2020 11 04 DS06 Backfill progress Vortex at DS 6


October 30, 2020 -- Drop shaft and consolidation sewer work continues along the tunnel route. Looking back to photos from the week before you see dramatic photos at drop shaft 7 - Guldlin Park. To give perspective on the structure in these photos -- it's about 30 feet, 60 to bottom. 

Drop shaft 7 at Guldlin Park - Week of Oct 26

76003 2020 10 27 DS07 Ironworkers tying rebar on south face 76003 2020 10 26 DS07 Installing closure strips on intierior EFCO forms

Work at Thieme and Berry continues with a consolidation sewer and drop shaft 5 are under construction. Photos below show crews placing whalers - on first photo the drop shaft is visible on the right hand side. Week of October 26

76003 2020 10 26 DS05 installing wailer supports onto sheeting 276003 2020 10 27 DS05 Placing wailer beam along northeast side of sheeting

October 23, 2020 – Heavy rains left standing water at drop shaft worksites, but crews were still able to make the week productive.

Worker’s used flowable fill before installing forms at drop shaft 7 located at Guldlin Park. Week of Oct. 19

76003 2020 10 16 DS07 Placing flowable fill with dump bucket 2 76003 2020 10 20 DS07 Outlining for EFCO form placement 

                                        76003 2020 10 21 DS07 Interior EFCO form progress

Work at Drop shaft 6 near Camp Allen Drive saw form and dowels installed. Week of Oct. 19

76003 2020 10 21 DS06 Installing water stop and forms around 42 inch RCP 76003 2020 10 21 DS06 Installing water stop and forms around 42 inch RCP

Standing water caused some delays at drop shaft 5 (Thieme Drive) but crews were still able to excavate. 

76003 2020 10 21 DS05 About a foot of water in excavation76003 2020 10 20 DS05 Excavating inside sheeting

October 16, 2020 -- Construction continues for the consolidation sewer pipe that will transport flow from neighborhoods north of the St. Marys River to a drop shaft and ultimately to the deep rock tunnel. Currently, overflows from these rivers dump into the St. Marys River at Third Street. This outfall is the largest outfall in the sewer system.

In the photos below, you can see the work that is going on below the bottom of the riverbed. The steel sheeting is the cofferdam that holds the water. The gray whalers above the workers support the dam. The last picture, showing the men standing on the scaffolding, gives us perspective. Their feet are just below the riverbed level. If the cofferdam weren’t there, they would be underwater.

76467 2020 10 01Grout Pour 376467 2020 10 13 Site photo RM 9

76467 2020 10 01Grout Pour 5 RESIZED 

October 8, 2020 - MamaJo took a break last week for the installation of an additional pump that is routinely installed as the tunnel distance extends.  The break was a bit longer than anticipated as a glitch occurred in communication with the Programable Logic Control box.  Crews were successful with troubleshooting efforts and MamaJo was moving again on Tuesday (10/6).  Elsewhere, drop shaft work continued in the photos below that show just how large the tunnel support projects are in neighobrhoods along the rivers. 

Photos show crews working to ground the Programable Logic Control system. Week of October 5, 2020

Programable Logic Control Box

This week's drop shaft photos are (posted 10/8/20)

Photo 1 - drop shaft #7 at Guldlin Park - St. Marys River Guldlin

Photo 2 - drop shaft #12 at East Central Park - Maumee River

76003 2020 10 05 DS07 Rebar mat at beginning of shift76003 2020 10 06 DS12 Installing closure strips

Posted 10/8/20

Photo 1 - drop shaft #2 on Waldron Circle - St. Marys River

Photo 2  - drop shaft #6 on Camp Allen Drive - St. Marys River

76003 2020 10 01 DS02 Tying concrete forms together76003 2020 09 30 DS06 Progress


September 29, 2020 -  Pile driving completed today on drop shaft #5 at Thieme Drive. 

DS 5 piles done


September 28, 2020 -- Pile driving should be wrapping on this week on drop shaft #5 at Thieme Drive.  Photos below were taken late last week. 

76003 2020 09 18 DS05 Moving I beams to be placed along outline of excavation76003 2020 09 21 DS05 Placing sheeting in the morning

September 18, 2020 – MamaJo continues her journey under the St. Marys River, just south of Main Street. Photos below show sheeting installation began at drop shaft #5 on Thieme Drive just east of the St. Marys River and a second photos at drop shaft #12 showing the inside forms being placed near the Maumee River.

76003 2020 09 16 DS5 Progress near end of shift 176003 2020 09 11 DS12 Inside concrete forms being placed


September 11, 2020 -- Consolidation sewers, near-surface sewer pipes that collect or consolidate the flow from existing sewer pipes and delivers the flow to the drop shaft, are wrapping up on a couple of large projects that have closed streets. Rudisill and Broadway opened to traffic last week with crews continuing restoration work through next week. On Superior Street, crews were paving this week and weather permitting the road stripes and lane dividers should be painted, and the road restored by the end of next week. At drop shaft #12 (East Central Park) crews were busy pouring concrete.

Consolidation sewer on Superior is aimed at keeping nearly 5 million gallons of sewage from the St. Marys River near Promanade and Headwater Park. Crews use fill-stone pulled from the deep rock tunnel on the project, which placed the 48-inch pipe under Superior Street. Crews worked on scorching hot days and in the rain. Paving began the week of (9/8/20).

Superior Street June 2020 consolidation sewer near Barr with FILLSuperior Consoldiation sewer working in the rain 

Superior Paving after Consolidation Sewer 2020 Sept 10

Concrete work continues at Drop Shaft #12 located at East Central Park, near the Maumee River. 

76003 2020 09 09 DS12 Pouring concrete base


September 4, 2020 -- A busy week at drop shaft #2 (Waldron Circle) where crews placed frames and poured concrete.  Photos below show workers place frames with rebar, pouring concrete, revmoving forms, and cleaning up debris.

76003 2020 08 31 DS02 putting zip ties around rebar76003 2020 09 01 DS02 Concrete poured and spread 

76003 2020 09 02 DS02 Concrete poured and sealed 76003 2020 09 02 DS02 Pouring concrete 

76003 2020 09 03 DS02 Removing wood forms from excavation 76003 2020 09 03 DS02 Using shop vac to clean concrete debris


August 28, 2020 -- MamaJo is approaching main street this week. It was full steam ahead for work in the tunnel and at construction sites around the city.  Here are update photos from the week.

Rock being pulled from the tunnel looks to be piling up -- but it's being used on projects around the community.  The work on Superior Street has already used more than 2100 cubic yards of the rock. (Aug 28, 2020)

Roack pile August 27 2020

In these photos for drop shaft 6 (Camp Allen Drive) you see continued construction of the drop shaft and where the pipe will connect to take combined sewage into the shaft and down to the tunnel. (Aug 28, 2020)

Drop Shaft Structure at DS 6 votex coming soon Aug 27 2020 76003 2020 08 26 DS06 Poured concrete 1   

The first photo below shows the liner at drop shaft 7 (Guldlin Park). The second shows the large excavaction where drop shaft 12 (East Central Park) will be built.  This photo also shows the work mat that will soon be filled with reinforced steel and the forms needed for construction. 

76003 2020 08 26 DS07 Hardman starting ring beam DS 12 aug 27 2020

August 20, 2020 --  A day to Celebrate!  MamaJo is half way through her journey.  At 3:45 a.m. today (August 20) she hit the halfway point between the Norfolk Southern RR Bridge and the Van Buren Street Bridge. Crews commemorated the event with photos of the milestone and the completion of 2,412 concrete rings.

76003 2020 08 19 tun celebrating the halfway point in the tunnel ring 241276003 2020 08 19 tun building ring 2412 halfway point in tunnel

August 18, 2020 -- Sometimes we think about MamaJo and the deep-rock tunnel and don’t realize the massive scale of projects, simoutaneously being constructed as part of our Tunnel Works program.  Drop shafts abound throughout the City at East Central, Headwaters and Guldlin Park, and neighborhood projects on Camp Allen, Thieme, Brown Street, Waldon Circle and the retrieval shaft at Foster Park.  These are the pipes that will drop flow down to the tunnel.  We also have major consolidation sewers under construction.  Pipes under construction on Third Street, Superior, and at the Rudisll/Boradway intersection will take flow to the drop shafts.  Below are 10 new photos from the various locations visible above aground.

Dropshaft 2 on Waldron Circle shows existing pipe and the work that is being done that will connect flow to the tunnel. - Aug 18 posting

76003 2020 08 07 DS02 excavated and graded 1 76003 2020 08 07 DS02 excavating bottom

Dropshaft 3 on Brown Street shows new pipe that will take flow to the dropshaft. Aug 18 posting

76003 2020 08 07 DS03 7 yards of concrete placed under pipe

Dropshaft 6 on Camp Allen reminds us of the vast amount of jobs the tunnel project is supporting. When all is said and done – more than 4,000 workers will be involved.  Here carpenters and iron workers assist with support structures.  The second photo shows a concrete pipe installaion. Aug 18 posting

76003 2020 08 11 DS06 carpenters and iron workers working 2 76003 2020 08 07 DS06 Segment of concrete pipe put up

Dropshaft7 near Guldlin Park  -- driving sheeting. In the second photo you can see it when it's into the ground. Aug 18 posting

76003 2020 08 11 DS07 placing sheeting 1 76003 2020 08 12 DS07 sheeting near end of day 2

The road at Rudisll/Broadway is being restored – this photo shows the consolidation sewer work that will intercept multiple pipes and take the flow to the dropshaft at Foster Park. Aug 18 posting

Rudisill consolidation Sewer Project August 2020

Work on Superior Street shows the consolidation sewer that will connect to the dropshaft at Headwaters Park. Aug 18 posting

Supeior Street Consolidation project

On the northside of the river crews are busy with the Third Street pump station consolidation sewer.  They will soon be going under the river to connect to the dropshaft at Headwater Park. Aug 18 posting

Third Street Pump Station Consolidation Sewer August 14 2020


 August 3, 2020 – MamaJo is close to halfway through her journey digging the deep rock tunnel. Now on the west side of the Van Buren bridge and ready to make the turn to head south toward Foster Park.  Here is a video link of continued work at drop shaft #2 and a photo below when PFW staff and students brought visiting students from a Myanmar environmental sciences program to visit the site just off Waldron Circle.

IMG 3084

July 15, 2020 -  This past Monday (July 13) MamaJo hit the two-mile mark.  Below you can see she's now just west of the Wells Street Bridge.  Second graphic shows the distance in the context of the overall project.

Mamajo 2 mile mark July 13 2020

July 13 MamaJo distance full view


July 8, 2020 -- MamaJo is just under the two-mile mark, and crews recently installed a slurry pump, which is needed to pump rock back to Dwenger Avenue. You can see the pump in the photos along with the tubes carrying electricity, air, and the rail track. When the tunnel is completed, these items will be removed, leaving the concrete-lined 16-foot-tunnel (pipe).

76003 2020 07 01 P2 6 install complete1 at just und 2.5 mi 76003 2020 07 01 P2 6 install complete2 Pump instal at just under 2.5 miles

June 19, 2020 - MamaJo is just east of the Wells Street bridge today. Crews have completed 10,000 feet of concrete liner. The photo below shows R (ring) 2000. Each slab 5’ long = 10,000 feet complete. The tunnel is 41% complete today, slightly behind what was anticipated, but nearly halfway done. Crews will shut down for several days to install an additional slurry pump that’s needed now that they are at the 10K mark.

76003 2020 06 18 tun tunnel progress passed ring 2000

May 21, 2020 - Work at Camp Allen in the Nebraska Neighborhood continues as crews install sheeting at the drop shaft. 

76003 2020 05 21 DS06 Sheeting installed on the north side of the excavation pic 1

May 07, 2020 - Crews were busy performing maintenance today.  Photo shows worker cleaning the grout line from the day tank in MamaJo, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). 

76003 2020 05 07 TBM Cleaning out grout lines from the day tank to the head 1

April 14, 2020 - Busy week at the drop shafts. The first photo shows work at the drop shaft located on the east side of the St. Marys River at the end of Waldron Circle, where crews were welding pieces of the steel liner together. The second photo is the drop shaft at East Central Park off of Combs Street and just south of the Maumee River, where crews were pouring the last portion of grouting.

76003 2020 04 14 DS02 Welding casings together 76003 2020 04 14 DS12 Truck 2551 on site for grout pour


April 07, 2020 - Work on the drop shaft between Brown Street and Hale Avenue is seeing progress on the drop shaft with the installation of a steel pipe. This drop shaft is one of seven locations under construction. The second photo shows excavating equipment being lowered into a drop shaft at Camp Allen Drive. These shafts will deliver combined sewage to the tunnel and will keep it from discharging into our rivers.

 2020 04 07 DS03 Kokosing installing another section of pipe into the shaft2020 04 07 DS06 Mini almost ready to touch down to dig a test hole

March 30,  2020 - February saw maintenance and cutter head change outs on MamaJo -- but today she is entering the downtown area just north of the deck at Don Hall's Gas House.

Map March 30 2020 showing MamaJo Location


January 20, 2020 -- MamaJo has gone more than one mile at about 6,100 feet and is 200 feet down in front of the Water Filtation Plant. Neighborhood pump station shafts and consolidation sewers are also making progress.  The consolidation sewers will intercept the flow that would normally go to the river and drop it down the drop shaft to the tunnel. New photos show work on two drop shafts. First two photos show work near the intersection of Thieme and Berry -- the third photo is the drop shaft site near Guldin Park between the St. Marys River and Supperior Street, just east of the Sherman Blvd bridge. 

76003 2020 01 21 Grout tubes lowered into the drop shaft at Drop Shaft 5 1  Off of Superior Site prepped to drive pile at Drop Shaft 7Off of Superior Site prepped to drive pile at Drop Shaft 7


December 16, -- Workers completed the 1000th concrete ring.  You can see the connected concrete liner rings beind them in this photo. 

100th Ring


November 19, 2019 -- At the retrieval shaft near Foster Park a dusty road gets swept and a second dewatering tank arrives and is placed in the construction zone. The tanks assist with groundwater in the shaft. 

76003 2019 11 19 RS Mess on Old Mill Road from Bunn hauling shot rock pic 2 76003 2019 11 19 RS Dust off Street Sweeper

76003 2019 11 19 RS Another dewatering tank arrived on site at 944 AM 76003 2019 11 19 RS Second dewatering tan placed on site                 


Novemeber 18, 2019 -- Man basket and pump ready for lowering at retrieval shaft.

76003 2019 11 18 RS Preparing to lower man basket and pump into the shaft at 906 AM

November 6, 2019 -- MamaJo made 3/4 of a mile and is at the first drop shaft located at East Central Park. Photo shows Rock Bolt installation at Retrieval Shaft. 

MamaJo reaches DS 12 3 4ths of a mile2019 11 06 RS Rock bolt 14 in Row 9


October 31, 2019 – Equipment being lowered into the Retrieval Shaft to assist with pump installation.

 2019 10 31 RS Stiffler and Tuwah being lowered into the shaft to install a larger pump at 833

October 23, 2019 – Crews build security fencing on the north side of the Retrieval Shaft.

2019 10 23 RS Chain link fence being installed on north side of the site

October 16, 2019 – Workers at the Retrieval Shaft (Foster Park)  are drilling a hole for dewatering services. 

 2019 10 16 RS Contract Dewatering Services drill hole for H Pile at 934 AM on north side of site

October 9, 2019 – Worker securing a rock bolt at the Retrieval Shaft.

2019 10 09 RS Pressurizing Swellex Rock Bolt 11 in Row 8


September 10, 2019 – Work continues at the Retrieval Shaft (Foster Park) as it continues its downward construction. Photo shows worker examining the progress at an elevation of 650.5 above sea level.


August 14, 2019 – Work is progressing at locations throughout the route.  The night photo shows crews at the pump shaft (Dwenger & Glasgow) hanging pipe brackets down the wall.  Inside the tunnel crews continue to work as MamaJo moves forward. 

2019 08 14 tunnel cutting away the brushed under segment AB at ring 3152019 08 14 tunnel cutting away the brushed under segment AB at ring 315


August 8, 2019 – Work continues at the neighborhood drop shafts, the shafts will intercept flow that currently goes to the river and drop it down to the tunnel.  In this photo, grouting work is going on at drop shaft 6 near the Camp Allen Drive at West Main Street.

2019 08 14 tunnel cutting away the brushed under segment AB at ring 3152019 08 14 tunnel cutting away the brushed under segment AB at ring 315

July 25, 2019 – MamaJo under the Maumee near the Hosey Dam today.   Several members of the media visited to observe the progress.

WPTA Chad Video IMG 6265 WANE and NPR reporters July 25 Stephen july 25 2019

July 13, 2019 -  Above ground photo shows concrete liners in the distance and inside MamaJo you can se the liners going in place.

76003 2019 07 12 main site picking segments to lower into working shaft 76003 2019 07 13 tunnel assembling ring 214 

July 9, 2019 - Worker being lowered into the 65-foot diameter pump station shaft and photo of Mamajo's used cutterheads and new ones that will be used to continue cutting through the bedrock. 

76003 2019 07 09 pump shaft electricians hanging new electrical cables down the side of the shaft 76003 2019 07 09 tunnel new and removed cutter wheels

July 8, 2019 -- Rock removed after blast at retrieval shaft in Foster Park.

76003 2019 07 08 RS Shotrock removed from the Retrieval Shaft 3rd round blast

July 5, 2019 -- Photos below show sections of the concrete liner in place, pieces of liner ready for installation and a view inside MamaJo. 

From the catwalk looking down the line with TJCU of concrete liner connection rev lining pieces Looking down Mamajo Aisle


June 26, 2019 -- Work is simultaneious throughout the route of the tunnel.  From working shaft at Dwenger Avenue to the drop shafts along the five mile route to Foster Park -- site of the retrival shaft pictured below. 

June 26 RS Conditions at the bottom of the Retrieval Shaft at 707 AM

June 25, 2019 -- Installing rail system extension. 

June 25 tunnel bolting in a new rail assembly section

June 24, 2019 --  As MamaJo moves further away from the Working Shaft --  the rails system is essential to take workers to their daily job. The bottom photo shows a flatbed with concrte tunnel lining segments. 

June 24 train in tunnel

June 24 lining pieces on flatbed

June 22, 2019 -- Photo below is looking down the drop shaft located at Headwaters Park West.  There are 7 dropshafts along the five mile route of the tunnel.  Drop shafts will deliver combined sewage to the tunnel where it will flow to the wastewater plant for treatment. It keeps the combined sewage out of the river. 

June 17 ds9 shaft water

June 20, 2019 -- Follow MamaJo's story on the new Story Map. Cleic this link MamaJo Story Map

June 18, 2019 -- What does the reconstruction of Huffman Street, just off Wells, have to do with the tunnel?  The stone crushed and pulled out of the tunnel by MamaJo is the perfect fill for a road project and prevents us from spending extra to buy the fill rock. Huffman had a sewer separation project and this week; crews are reconstructing the street that was torn up for restoration. The first photo is looking west from Wells Street, and the second is looking east from Short Street.

 Huffman sewer sepaaration restore w tunnel stone 1

Huffman sewer sep restore w tunnel stone 2 looking east

 June 14, 2019 -- Photos show the additional slurry circuit installed and the segments being delivered via rail car into the tunnel for unloading. 76003 2019 06 14 Draining trombone to add additional slurry circuit pipe 4 76003 2019 06 14 Pushing the segments on rail car into the tunnel for unloading 3

June 13, 2019 -- Permeneant vent line was installed and is now connected to the gantry 12 (end of MamaJo, the Tunnel Boring Machine).  

76003 2019 06 13 Permenant vent line installed and running and connected to gantry 12 1

June 6, 2019 – MamaJo workers are extending the slurry lines and isecond photo looks down working shaft as final piece of MamaJo is in place. (photos at working shaft - Dwenger Avenue)

76003 2019 06 06 tunnel extending the slurry lines 76003 2019 06 06 working shaft gail end of gantry 12 visible in shaft


June 4, 2019 - Worker inside MamaJo installs segment ring in tunnel at Dwenger Avenue.

76003 2019 06 04 tunnel intalling a segment for ring 68

June 3, 2019 – First holes being drilled at Foster Park retrieval shaft.

76003 2019 06 03 First holes being drilled in the Retrieval Shaft for blasting


May 30, 2019 Lots of work going on around town -- below truck dlivers equipment to retrieval shaft at Foster while  crews are lining the drop shaft at Camp Allen, just south of Main Street in second photo.

76003 2019 05 30 RS Bunn Trucking delivering equipment to the Retrieval Shaft site Camp Allen Drop Shaft being LIned


May 29, 2019 - Workers scaling retrieval shaft walls at the Foster Park location.

76003 2019 05 29 RS Scaling Retrieval Shaft walls at bottom of Retrieval Shaft

 May 9, 2019 - Work continues as MamaJo moves forward to continue adding on the additional gantries. This week's photos show crews connecting Gantry 6 and the unloading of additional liner segments. 

76003 2019 05 08 Gantry 6 Working on Electrical Connections 1 76003 2019 05 08 Unloading Segments


April 19, 2019 -- MamaJo's first cut into bedrock.  Click on this link to see sheared rock coming out. MamJo's first cut into bedrock April 19  Click on this video for animation Animation shows cutterhead working


April 15, 2019 -- Gantries move the concrete liner pieces forward on a conveyor.  Each piece will be attached amd connected to make a ring.   Click on this link to vide annimation of how it works. Animation - How segments connect

2019 04 15 Gantry 4 Segments Staged 1a

April 1, 2019 -- View of iner pieces #2 and 3 are attached. These are the precast concrete ppieces we tshowed in earlier photos. Once attached, they have an inside diameter of approx. 16-feet. 

2019 04 01 Ring 2 and 3 are connected

March 27, 2019 -  Photo below shows first liner pieces being connected. Crews are working in the Tunne Boring Machine. 

1st liner pieces installed l3 27 19

March 20, 2019 -- Photo below shows the gantries placed in the pump station area.  The pump station is just east of the working shaft where parts of Mamajo are already connected. Gantries house the segment feeder to transport the concrete liner pieces forward for installation.  Gantries also house the slurry pump, control cabinet, the bentonite supply system and hydraulic pumps.

2019 03 20 Pump Shaft Gantries in Standby 1

March 12, 2019 -- Photo below shows three parts of Mamjo connected and preparing for the five mile journey. 

Mamjo showing length in Tunnell Mar 12 2019

February 11, 2019 - Last week two pieces of Mamajo were send down the working shaft.  The photo below shows the machine after some of the connections were placed. 

Shot looking at connections Feb 5 2019

February 4, 2019 -- Construction crews began lowering MamaJo through the working shaft on Dwenger Avenue.  High winds and sub-zero temperatures delayed lowering Mamajo, because of the weight of the cutterhead – 200 tons.  Finally, Mamajo was lowered down the 220-foot working shaft.  Here are two videos of the lowering and a photo below.  Click: MamaJo lifted to begin journey  Click:  Mamjo sits over Working Shaft before lowering

TBM Lowered into WS April 4 2019

December 18, 2018 -- Work continues on getting Mamajo ready to dig.  This photo shows the concrete linner pieces that will be instlaled as Mamajo progresses. The 5X7 foot pieces connect to become the tunnel liner. 

Linter pieces Dec 18 2018

October 25, 2018 -- Work continues at the working shaft and pump station shaft as well as the neighborhood drop shafts.  All but one of the drop shafts are under construction.  This photo shows the equipment in place at the intersection of Berry and Thieme.

.West Central 2

September 21, 2018 -- Work is beginning on the drop shaft in west central this week. Six of the seven neighborhood drop shafts are now under construction.   CLICK here to see VIDEO of recent MamaJo tour 9-9-18


September 10, 2018 -- A message from MamaJo:  "Thanks to all of you who came out to meet me on Sunday, September 9 -- and gosh there were a lot of you.  I'll NEVER remember all your names. You might have had to wait a long time to see me, but I hope it was worth it and that you didn't get too cold.  I've heard it can get really cold here in the winter so I'm looking forward to going underground before winter weather hits.

If you had your picture taken with me, please click here to download photos.  Our photographers are uploading the photos today and it may take a little time, so please be patient.  Thanks again for visiting me and I'm looking forward to keeping you updated as I prepare for my undergound journey." 

Jacobs teamJoe and AM

September 7, 2018 -- MamaJo is ready for visitors on Sunday May 9 from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The tour takes about 35 minutes. Please -- no flip-flops. The tour will be by trolley with three stops. It takes about 35 minutes.  Parking is in front of the Pollution Control plant near the trolley boarding area. 

MamaJo WS a

August 31, 2018 -- Tour MamaJo on September 9.  Crews are working to get her ready for your visit.  Also, crews are busy working on drop shafts near Headwaters Park West and near Guildon park. Clik on the links to view videos. 

Prepping Mamajo,  Drop Shaft at Michaels Ave - Gilden ParkFlyover view of MamaJo

August 7, 2018 - Today City Utilities unveiled the name for the 400-feet long Tunnel Boring Machine – MamaJo! Voting was cast earlier this year and the name, MamaJo won with more than 43% of the vote. In addition, you will be able to see MamaJo in person! On Sunday, September 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the working shaft site near the intersection of Dwenger and Glasgow Avenue, City Utilities will be hosting tours of the site. More information to come.

July 26, 2018 - The working shaft is down about 220 feet this week and pump station shaft about 190 feet.  The neighborhood drop shafts are seeing a lot of acitivity and will be busy next week. At  Hale Avenue crews will begin phase III lining,  Camp Allen is at phase II - augering thorugh rock and the steel casing insertion will continue at East Central Park. View work at shaft site
July 18, 2018 - This week the tunnel working shaft is about 198 feet down and the Pump Station Shaft 173 feet down this week. The final destination is around 220 feet down. Work continues at a third neighborhood drop shaft near the intersection of Coombs and Cochran Street where a 50-ton steel casing (drop shaft liner) spanning 80 feet in length and 12 feet in diameter was delivered late last week.  Click to see casing crossing Tecumseh Bridge
July 18, 2018 - This week the tunnel working shaft is about 198 feet down and the Pump Station Shaft 173 feet down this week. The final destination is around 220 feet down. Work continues at a third neighborhood drop shaft near the intersection of Coombs and Cochran Street where a 50-ton steel casing (drop shaft liner) spanning 80 feet in length and 12 feet in diameter was delivered late last week.  Click to see casing crossing Tecumseh Bridge
July 11, 2018 --  Work will begin next week at the drop shaft just south of the Maumee River at River City.  The working shaft is about 180 feet down and the Pump Station Shaft 160 feet down this week. Click on this link Cutterhead in action -- to see the Tunnel Boring Machine being tested at the manufacturing plant in Germany.
Rock Pile July 10 2018
Rocks pulled from the tunnel drop shafts
June 29, 2018 -- Tunnel segments were constructed to build the first test ring for inspection.  This will be the 1-foot diameter interior wall of the tunnel. 









June 22, 2018 --  Progress continued at the two neighborhood drop shaft sites and at the working shaft sight.  Late in the week, heavy-rain slowed the project.  Click for aerial view of work near Water Pollution Control Plant.
June 15, 2018 -- The Drop Shaft at Camp Allen, near Main Street and the St. Marys River, is moving along.  This week a 50-ton casing was installed. Click here for video of Camp Allen Casing
TBM Police Escort 2
Pieces of the Tunnel Boring Machine arriving with police escort
June 8, 2018 --The working shaft and the pump station shaft are progressing on Dwenger Avenue.  The working shaft is at about 130 feet and pump station shaft is about 120.  Click on this link showing aerial video of the progress.
The Drop Shaft on Brown Street is under construction. Click to see the 50-ton, 70-foot casing at Brown Street.  It will collect combined sewage and drop it to the tunnel -- keeping it out of the St. Marys River. 
Work at Foster Park will begin again in September.  Equipment being used at the Pump Shaft will be moved to Foster for that work.


The Tunnel Works Program represents a major part of Fort Wayne's efforts to implement the 2008 Long-Term Control Plan and associated Consent Decree with the US Environmental Protection Agency. The premier project - the deep rock tunnel - will be constructed in the bedrock deep below the city. The tunnel will collect and transport sewage from the combined sewer system to the sewage treatment plant. This sewage would otherwise discharge (overflow) into the rivers when it rains.  

Want to know more about Fort Wayne's Tunnel Works?  Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Workers TBM 1 Workers TBM 2 


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