OARS Breaks Into Final Shaft Completing a 4.5-Mile Journey in 3 Years


OARS Tunnel

Nearly three years ago, this 540-foot long Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) began its journey north from south of Frank Road near the Scioto River to I-670 on the north side of downtown Columbus, averaging about 70 feet a day. On September 4th, the giant TBM broke out into the final shaft at the upstream end of the tunnel, completing a 4.5-mile long adventure. The tunnel, the most expensive public works project ever for the City of Columbus, is 20 feet in diameter and approximately 180 feet under ground.

Once the entire project is complete, the tunnel will carry wastewater to the treatment plants on the South side of Columbus, where the water will be pumped out and treated. More importantly, the tunnel will hold combined stormwater and sewage to prevent it from overflowing into the Scioto River during heavy rain.

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