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Invisible Improvement Under Busy Streets

Undertaking a massive effort to cut down on untreated water entering DC’s waterways and to cut down on reoccurring neighborhood flooding, DC Water has embarked on the DC Clean Rivers Project to burrow miles of deep-storage tunnels. Invisible from those who live and work in the District, a giant 26-foot diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) named “Lady Bird” has chewed its way four miles north from the Blue Plains facility, sister TBM “Nannie” is moving south, and two additional TBMs will be used to tunnel and form the 13.1-mile long Anacostia River Tunnel. The tunnels are anticipated to cut sewer overflows down by 98 percent and drastically improve the health of the Anacostia River.

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