The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote Wednesday, Nov. 7 on a contract for the planned flood-reduction and wetlands restoration project near U.S. Highway 101 south of Seaside.
Henderson LLC of Lake Oswego is the low bidder for the project, which is aimed at preventing high water over the roadway while restoring wetland habitat on nearby property. The proposed contract with Henderson is for $728,092.50.
The work is a joint effort of Clatsop County, ODOT and the North Coast Land Conservancy designed to ease chronic flooding along a roughly one-mile stretch of the highway south of Seaside, while at the same time restore wetland habitat on a Conservancy-owned piece of property lying west of the highway.
Construction will be weather-dependent. Ron Ash, County Engineer, said while some portions of the project could be launched this month, wet weather would likely require that most work wait until spring 2013. The contract sets a completion deadline of Sept. 13, 2013 – all the necessary work can be completed in that time window, Ash said.
Money for the project comes entirely from the Oregon Department of Transportation, which is funding the design and construction through its wetland mitigation bank program.
The project involves the removal of earthen berms along the Necanicum and elsewhere on the Land Conservancy property. This is expected to reduce chronic wintertime flooding over the roadway, while opening up about 110 acres of adjacent land to the west to floodwaters. This and other work, including the placement of woody debris in the river, will promote the return of wetland habitat to the Land Conservancy property.
Clatsop County Commissioner Debra Birkby, whose district covers the project site and south-county communities, thanked all the partners who have contributed to the effort, including the North Coast Land Conservancy, whose involvement has made the project possible, she said.
Local cities, the Port of Astoria, Clatsop County and ODOT all contributed funding for a study of the flooding problem conducted in 2010 that provided the data for the berm-removal project.