Final plans for widening the Blanchard River in Findlay are nearly complete, with the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, Defiance, voting Friday to award a $675,000 construction administration contract to the Stantec engineering firm for the river-widening project.

Project Manager Steve Wilson said the overall project estimate is still around $12.5 million. He said that number has come down as engineers have been able to get into specific details of the plan.

Wilson said part of the project cost is removing mussels from the river where there are currently riffle structures. Depending on the timing of construction, crews may have to remove mussels more than once.

Stantec also requested an additional $45,000 forhydraulic engineer design work.

Wilson said that request comes as a result of a variety of factors. They include more sewer lines in the widening or “benching” area, extra surveying of properties that need to be purchased, and protecting AEP utility poles in the area. The cost of meeting historic preservation requirements was also more than originally expected.

The conservancy board voted to approve both Stantec requests.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the $675,000 construction administration contract put the project over budget. The expense of construction administration was included in the initial $12.5 million estimate.

The conservancy board did approve $45,000 for additional hydraulic engineer design work by Stantec, which was an unexpected, additional expense.

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