DEFIANCE — Wet weather and high river levels have halted a widening project along the Blanchard River in Findlay.

Steve Wilson, project manager for the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, said the contractors have removed about 25 percent of the dirt for river “benches.”

He said the weather has stopped work on the project for about two weeks.

Wilson gave an update on the project at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the conservancy district in Defiance.

In September, the conservancy district awarded a $6.1 million contract to Helms Construction, Findlay, for improvements to the Blanchard River in Findlay.

The river will be widened by cutting “benches” into the north 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 during floods.

Once complete, the project is expected to reduce the height of flooding on Main Street by about 1 foot during a 100-year storm.

The project is expected to remove about 600 parcels from the flood plain in Findlay and make travel easier during a flood.

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