You can visit ‘MamaJo,’ Fort Wayne’s tunnel machine, this Sunday

Residents are invited to a free tour of “MamaJo,” the tunnel boring machine that will soon begin digging a five-mile sewer tunnel under Fort Wayne. Mamajo is nearly 20 feet in diameter and more than 400 feet long and will be available for viewing Sunday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visitors are asked to park in the lot at 2601 Dwenger Ave. to board a trolley for their tour. Guides will be on each trolley to relay information to visitors, and free photos will be taken by professional photographers for residents to download. The tours take about 35 minutes and begin every 15 minutes. Visitors should wear good walking shoes and no sandals, flip flops or open-toed shoes. A parent must accompany visitors under the age of 16, and accommodations are available for those with disabilities

MamaJo’s name comes from the first two letters from Fort Wayne’s three rivers: the Ma from Marys, Ma from Maumee and Jo from Joseph. MamaJo is expected to start her journey and begin digging the tunnel later this fall. Completion of the tunnel boring is expected by 2021, and the connection to the many neighborhood sewers in 2023. The tunnel will be operational in 2023. Once operational, the sewer tunnel in conjunction with other sewer projects completed in the past 10+ years will reduce the amount of combined sewage that currently overflows to our rivers by more than 90 percent. It will also reduce neighborhood street flooding and basement back-ups.

Residents can learn more and get tunnel updates at fortwaynetunnel.org.

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