Our list of “Project Clean Lake achievements” keeps getting longer as our Westerly Storage Tunnel project met a major milestone this month.
The tunnel boring machine reached the end of its two-mile journey January 6, breaking through the shale of its receiving shaft in the overnight hours and signaling the end of the project’s mining work.
In a typical year once the tunnel system goes online in 2023, the Westerly Storage Tunnel will prevent more than 320 million gallons of overflow from polluting Lake Erie, instead capturing the flow to be treated at the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cleveland.
Project Clean Lake is a massive undertaking. With 10 years down and still 15 to go, it includes a total of 77 planned projects with a price tag near $3 billion: Tunnel construction, system improvements, plant expansion and green infrastructure are all part of the plan.
Westerly is the latest of 7 large-scale tunnels: Euclid Creek (now operational), Dugway Storage (also operational), Doan Valley (online in 2021), Westerly (online in 2023), Shoreline (breaks ground in 2021), Southerly (design begins in 2021) and Big Creek (design begins in 2027).
To date, the work completed under the consent decree has led to elimination of more than 1 billion gallons of overflow from discharging into the environment each year.