Construction has begun. On April 27, 2016 a contract was signed with the low bidder Thompson Brothers Excavating, Inc. (TBE) out of Vancouver, Washington in the amount of $5,500,930. TBE mobilized to the site the first week of May. The contractor now has a number of crews working throughout the 640 acre project area.
The construction of the Southern Flow Corridor (SFC) will create a “natural overland floodway” that is currently blocked by numerous levees and dikes. The project will remove these blockages and set back remaining levees in order to provide an unobstructed flow corridor. The net result is that flood levels are reduced over a wide area in the lower Wilson floodplain and even to some degree the lower Trask and Tillamook River systems. Although the SFC was developed as a flood project, it also restores tidal wetland habitats and ecological function as a direct consequence of removing levees and reconnecting 14 miles of ancient channels to the river systems. TBE has completed similar projects along the Columbia River and elsewhere, including work for ODOT.
Demolition has almost been completed at the former farm buildings west of the Hall Slough Bridge on Goodspeed Road. The Tillamook Fire Department conducted a practice burn on the house slated for removal at the end of Goodspeed Rd. TBE crews have started clearing and removing brush and trees that were felled within the project area back in February. This wood debris will be chipped to build temporary construction roads. TBE has also started stripping out top soils along 1.75 miles where set back levees will be constructed.
Approval from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is expected the week of June 13-17 on final plans for cleanup of the two former mill sites north of Front St. in the City of Tillamook. Excavation of this area will begin following that approval. For public safety, access onto the entire project site is limited for the duration of the project which is expected to be substantially completed by fall. Regrading of the new setback levees will be conducted, as needed, in summer 2017.
Further questions may be directed to Project Manager Paul Levesque at 503 842-1809.