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Record Infrastructure Investments Led by City Utilities Help Community Grow, Strengthen Neighborhoods, Protect Environment

For release:  April 16, 2024

City UtilitiesRecord Infrastructure Investments Led by City Utilities Help Community Grow, Strengthen Neighborhoods, Protect Environment

Fort Wayne, Indiana — Acting Mayor Karl Bandemer joined residents of the Rolling Hills neighborhood, City Council members and City Utilities staff to announce more than $130 million in water, sewer and stormwater improvements for this year that will strengthen neighborhoods.

Stormwater improvements will address chronic flooding in Rolling Hills, a neighborhood with standing water issues that frequently threaten homes and cause thick ice in the winter.

“City Utilities continues to provide vital services that meet critical needs for residents and businesses,” said acting mayor Bandemer. “This year’s plan for neighborhood infrastructure enhancements will help our community grow and succeed while we also protect the environment and continue to be good stewards of ratepayer dollars.”

This year marks the second straight year that City Utilities’ investments will exceed $134 million. Over the past 10 years, more than $1 billion has gone into system-wide improvements.

“We are grateful to our City Council for consistently supporting our efforts to replace aging infrastructure and strengthen our community. These utility investments are vital for our residents, schools, businesses, and the broader region. Our community depends on the reliable water and sewer services we provide and the effective management of stormwater, said Kumar Menon, Director of City Utilities. “Our improvements support daily needs and are crucial for economic growth, contributing to job creation and regional prosperity.”

Besides the Rolling Hills neighborhood, stormwater enhancements will occur throughout the City. Some of the more expansive ones include:

  • McKinnie Avenue – work will focus on the Congress-McKinnie neighborhood.
  • Pierson Drain improvements will add a storm sewer, ditches and drainage work to protect the Caribe Colony, Field Stone Place, Monarch Park and Statewood Park neighborhoods.
  • Reconstruction of the Braun Drain will help manage stormwater in Hollywood Acres, Hollywood Gardens and Rousseau’s Suburban Gardens subdivisions.
  • Sunny Meadows – Phase I to alleviate flooding and standing water in the neighborhood with stormwater pipes, structures and ditches.
  • Southgate Area –  a new storm sewer and connection to drainage pond to help drainage in the Fairfield Terrace and Belmont Neighborhood.

Work to change out aging and failing water mains will continue for the Water Utility. Significant projects in 2024 include:

  • Summerfield Community and Crestwood Colony will have more than two miles of water main replaced in the final phase of work in the neighborhoods.
  • Anthony/Petit/Paulding will see 1,400 feet of new water main serving the neighborhoods of South Suburban Civic, Petitt-Rudisill, Suburban Heights and Lafayette Place Improvement.
  • Scottswood/Bluffton Road will have 1.3 miles of water main installed, which will benefit the Scottswood addition and the neighborhoods of Lakewood Park, Old Trail, and St. Marys/Winchester Road Civic.
  • In the area around South Anthony and McKinnie, a multi-year project that installed more than four miles of water main will wrap up this year. The main will serve portions of the neighborhoods of Anthony Wayne Community, Congress-McKinnie, Village Wood, Rudisill-Plaza and Pettit-Rudisill.
  • Wilkie Drive between Getz Road and West Jefferson Boulevard will observe 2,000 feet of water main installed.
  • Lima Road will have one mile of water main replaced between Fernhill and Ley Road.
  • Work to help residents eliminate the lead service line on their properties will continue in the neighborhoods of Harvester, Eastside Community, Renaissance Point, Hamilton Association, Northside and Forest Park.

In the Sewer Utility, work will continue on the consolidation sewers that will connect the neighborhoods of Indian Village, Southwood Park and Woodhurst to the drop shaft at Foster Park and the Three Rivers Protection and Overflow Reduction Tunnel (3RPORT). Work will also proceed at the deep dewatering pump station, which will pump flow out of the tunnel for treatment work. Plans are for the tunnel to be operational by the end of the year.

Further, several sanitary sewers will be rehabbed in the East Central, LaRez, Renaissance Point and Chapel Oaks Neighborhood.

Significant additional project work encompasses:

  • Expanding capabilities for alternate energy to power the water and sewer plants.
  • Collecting restaurant grease through a Co-Op program to convert it to power.
  • Increasing capacity to take high-strength waste and convert it to power.
  • Completion of the microgrid with its solar panels.

Each of these projects will help lower greenhouse gas emissions by finding alternative energy sources. They will simultaneously improve  resiliency at the facilities and keep downward pressure on rising energy costs.