Work on north river bank planned later this month
It appears a Nebraska firm will be awarded the contract to build a series of dikes along the Kansas River near Eudora.
The work, which will be performed this winter and next, is designed to curtail erosion of the river bank. The river is threatening the bank, and the Leavenworth County Road 1 bridge just north of Eudora.
The project financed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as Leavenworth and Douglas counties was estimated to cost $2 million.
But it's possible that estimate was high.
Big River Construction Co., Nebraska City, Neb., submitted a bid of $668,153 for the first phase of the two-phase project. An independent government estimate had placed the cost at $808,380, according to Keith Browning, Douglas County public works director.
The corps still must review Big River's bid before awarded the work to the company.
"The corps wants to get started the last of January," Browning said.
Currently, the river level is low. But the onset of spring changes the flow.
"Once it starts getting wet, then the river comes up and it's very different," Browning said.
It's estimated the work will take 60 calendar days. It will include construction of two L-shaped dikes and a portion of a third, along with access roads.
"Those will be permanent so they can be used for maintenance," Browning said.
The complete project calls for five dikes, which will be constructed of rock lots of rock. The first phase calls for 30,000 ton of rock.
"That's 3,000 truck loads, so it will be a lot of truck traffic, obviously," Browning said.
Once the Nebraska firm is awarded the work, it will select among four Douglas County quarries and a Jefferson County quarry to pull the rock. If a Douglas County quarry is chosen, Eudora residents will be keenly aware that work is under way.
"They'd be going right through town," Browning said.
If the Leavenworth County quarry were chosen, the rock would travel on U.S. 24-59 to U.S. 24-40 and then south on Leavenworth County Road 1 to the north bank of the river.
"That would be more convenient for people living in Eudora," Browning said.
The corps has agreed to pay up to $1 million of the total project cost, with the remaining split between Leavenworth and Douglas counties. Douglas County agreed to pick up 60 percent, with Leavenworth to pay the other 40 percent.