Mayor Mike Moore joined city officials and project leaders to celebrate the completion of the Jeff Digs project.
Jeff Digs is the City of Jeffersonville’s largest public infrastructure project to date. The purpose was to correct downtown Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) issues, decades in the making.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required the city to control the overflows to the Ohio River.
“Investing in our sewers today will position us for even more growth tomorrow,” Mayor Mike Moore said “We knew this would not come without its headaches, but the Jeff Digs project was just what the city needed to meet the terms of the federal mandate and improve overall downtown flooding.”
In February 2021, work began at the intersection of 8th and Ohio. The project route was approximately a mile and half. It made its way to Wall Street through Spring and 7th and then south on Wall Street along Chestnut and then continued east on Chestnut to Graham. At times digging reached as deep as 25 feet.
The project was completed on October 10, 2022 and totaled $20.9 million.
“We completed this project without raising sewer rates and we did it for millions of dollars less than what was first talked about,” Moore said. “Everyone in Jeffersonville wins.”
The City of Jeffersonville launched the jeffdigs.net site to keep the community and residents living in the area up to date. Text alerts were sent out on a weekly basis with road closures and updates. Public meetings were held and city officials were available for questions and comments.
The project was intended to efficiently revitalize the city’s wastewater infrastructure and protect local waterways in the growing Jeffersonville community for the next 75 years.
The City is now in compliance with EPA with controlling CSOs.
Many key players helped successfully pull this off on time. The City would like to thank Utility Director Len Ashack, City Engineer Andy Crouch, Jacobi, Toombs & Lanz, Mac Construction and numerous contractors involved.
The first sewers were constructed in Jeffersonville in approximately 1900. As was common practice at the time, these sewers were built as combined sewers, a sewer system that carries both wastewater and stormwater in the same pipe.
As is typical in many CSO communities, Jeffersonville’s combined sewers are located primarily in the older, downtown area of the city, with approximately 989 acres spanning from Main Street west to the city’s corporate limits with the Town of Clarksville being served by combined sewers.
Fast forward to today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required the City of Jeffersonville to control the sewer overflows to the Ohio River and the Jeff Digs project did just that.
In August 2009, the Jeffersonville Sanitary Sewer Board ratified a Consent Decree with the EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The Consent Decree was accepted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in November 2009.
The Consent Decree is a federally enforceable, legally binding agreement that resolves alleged violations of the Clean Water Act for untreated overflows from Jeffersonville’s combined sewer system.