DEFIANCE — Flood-control improvements to the Blanchard River at Findlay are going to be significantly less costly than anticipated, with the contract likely going to a Findlay construction company.

The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, Defiance, held a bid opening Thursday on the river-improvement project.

Helms Construction, Findlay, is the apparent lower bidder. Helm’s bid was about $6.1 million, significantly less than the $10 million estimate given by project engineers.

Helms was one of six bidders on the project. The highest bid received Thursday was $9.2 million.

The bids will now be analyzed for accuracy, with the conservancy district expected to award the contract at its Sept. 11 meeting.

The Blanchard River will be widened by cutting “benches” into the riverbank for about 3,500 feet between the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge and Broad Avenue. The benches are meant to increase the river’s capacity. The project will excavate the benches on the north bank of the river.