By DENISE GRANT
DEFIANCE — Flood-control improvements to the Blanchard River in 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. Helms’ bid was about $6.1 million, far 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 meeting will be held at 8 a.m. at its Defiance office, 1464 Pinehurst Drive.
The Blanchard River will be widened in Findlay 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.
Once complete, the improvements to the river are expected to reduce the height of flooding on Main Street by about 1 foot during a 100-year storm.
Almost all of the property to be excavated belongs to the City of Findlay. Only one private property owner will be affected by the land clearing.
When complete, the project is expected to remove about 600 parcels from the flood plain in Findlay and make travel easier during a flood.