Fishers Drainage Tunnel

About This Project

When INDOT decided to eliminate traffic signals along State Road 37 in favor of roundabouts, it meant lowering the road up to 10-12’ in some places. With such a dramatic change, the project called for drainage improvements, including a large diameter 2000’ tunnel to carry water from the new road to Shoemaker ditch.

Thanks to the depth (20’ to 30’ in some areas), many existing utilities, and buildings closeby, trenchless construction was the natural choice for the project. Tunneling was better than jacking because it allowed for one straight shot and could be stopped and started if necessary without the fear of lockup.

Initially thinking the ground conditions were clay, we opted for a closed face tunneling machine. As the tunnel boring machine advanced, crews set ring beams in a circular pattern followed by 3” by 6” timbers. Thanks to the six-foot tail can on the machine, we could build 4’ of lagging at one time. Once the four-foot section was complete, the machine would push off it to advance another four feet.

The biggest challenge on this project was the ground conditions. Rather than clay, our crews encountered boulders, groundwater, and sandy soil. Crews removed a total of 39 obstructions while advancing the tunnel.

Project Details

  • OwnerCity of Fishers, Managed by INDOT
  • Scope1000’ of 76.5” Diameter Tunnel
  • DateNovember 2018

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