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Cleveland Sewer Project Brings First Tunnel Online and Begins Work in University Circle

photo of Doan Valley project
The "Project Clean Lake" work that's happening near University Circle in Cleveland this week includes relief and consolidation sewers.

It’s been an eventful summer for Cleveland’s 25-year, $3 billion sewer project, as the city opened its first overflow tunnel and begins work on a new extension.

Project Clean Lake” started in 2011 to construct seven tunnels under the city that would hold sewage until it can be treated, instead of going directly into Lake Erie.  The goal is to cut the untreated sewage flowing into the lake from 4.5 billion gallons to a 500,000 gallons.

Jenn Elting, spokeswoman for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, said cleaner water is only one benefit of the tunnels, which will handle the overflow after heavy rains.

“And we’re also increasing capacity into the existing sewer system," she said. "So some areas that experience flooding, some of that will be reduced with the addition of our 'Project Clean Lake' projects as well.”

In July, the Euclid Creek tunnel became the first to go online, and three more tunnels are in the works. 

Work on a new relief sewer and other projects will result in road closures near University Circle over the coming weeks.