Riverbank stabilization project expected to start soon in parkA riverbank stabilization project in southeast Jamestown is only a couple of weeks from getting under way, according to Doug Hogan, Jamestown Parks and Recreation director.
By: By Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
A riverbank stabilization project in southeast Jamestown is only a couple of weeks from getting under way, according to Doug Hogan, Jamestown Parks and Recreation director.
A $262,700 project bid approved by the Jamestown Public Works Committee will add fill material to the battered east riverbank of McElroy Park to prevent future erosion. According to Hogan, the riverbank has lost some 60 feet of ground to erosion since spring 2009.
Aspen Construction of Hackensack, Minn., won the bid for the project and is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Hogan and City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf said three issues stand in the way of beginning the project: a construction concern regarding the bank adjacent to the roadway, authorization from the federal level to begin construction this winter, and terms regarding the delivery of clay material to be used at the site.
Schwartzkopf said the issues are “relatively trivial” and agreed with Hogan that it’s not unreasonable for this project to get past those obstacles and begin in a couple of weeks.
Among the concerns, Hogan is worried the specs provided for the project do not properly account for restoring the roadway into McElroy Park to its original width.
“We understand the fill material along the riverbank will not completely restore the area to what it once was, but we would like to have the roadway restored as much as possible,” Hogan said.
Schwartzkopf said the main concern is stabilizing the bank next to the roadway, which he said was not planned to be restored to the same elevation as originally hoped.
“We first have to stabilize the eroding bank, but if possible, we want to rebuild it out further into the channel as well,” he said.
Second, Schwartzkopf said the corps can be reluctant to begin a construction project in the usually harsh Jamestown winter, but with the unseasonably warm season the city has had this year, he said he sees no reason why authorization wouldn’t pass through.
Third, the original bids indicated the corps would supply the necessary clay material to be used at the site, but the most recent bid stated that the city would have to fund transporting such clay.
Schwartzkopf said that would be something he and the corps’ engineers would be discussing in the coming days.
One of the city’s water wells is located in the park near the area subject to erosion.
Ken Schulz, city councilman on the Public Works Committee, wants to ensure the wellhead is maintained.
“We have six wells in the city, and we certainly can’t afford to lose one of them as this city continues to add more people and businesses to the area,” he said.
Schwartzkopf said the project is designed with the wellhead’s protection in mind.
“We want to make sure everything is as safe as possible. There is potential for water quality issues if erosion continues, which is why stabilizing the riverbank is so important,” he said.
The project’s costs are shared 65 percent federally and 35 percent locally, meaning about $92,000 total will be paid by the city, Jamestown Parks and Recreation and other entities.
The city share of funding, which it has capped at $53,600, will be paid from the water utility funds.
Jamestown College and Jamestown High School have agreed to provide $7,000 each to help Parks and Recreation, as they both use Jack Brown Stadium at the park for baseball games.
Sun Reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org