A groundbreaking ceremony for flood control improvements to the Blanchard River at Findlay will be held at noon today near the river.

Parking for the ceremony will be available on the west side of Cory Street, just north of the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge, 330 N. Cory St.

On Sept. 11, the Maumee Watershed 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 riverbank for about 3,500 feet between the Norfolk Southern 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. Work is expected to begin this year and be completed by September 2019.

Officials from the conservancy district are expected to review the project during today’s ceremony.

Once complete, the improvements to the river in Findlay are 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.

Aside from clearing the Blanchard River floodway of houses and other structures, the river widening is the largest flood control project in Findlay’s history.

The public will be able to monitor progress on the project online at www.hancockcountyflooding.com.