BRADENTON -- Dredging of Wares Creek is now complete, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official.
"Plans to begin demobilizing the equipment will begin immediately," said Amanda Ellison, Corps spokeswoman in the Jacksonville District.
Ellison said workers completed the dredging portion for the $51.8 million Cedar Hammock-Wares Creek flood control project on Tuesday. The large geobags adjacent to the creek that contain sediments drained out of the creek will remain on site for approximately three or four more weeks as the materials dry out, Ellison said.
The project is expected to reduce flooding along Bradenton's Wares Creek neighborhoods.
The next phase of the project will consist of channel widening and retaining wall construction, said Barbara Harrison, civil engineer for the Corps.
During that phase, the creek channel will be widened to about 25 feet and made about one foot deeper, according to Harrison. That work will stretch from 21st Avenue West to 30th Avenue West, she said.
"The whole mission is to create a large cross section so that more water can flow throught he channel and reduce flooding," Harrison said.
Construction for the phase -- designated "Phase III A" -- is estimated to cost between $10 million and $25 million, according to Corps documents. Manatee County will be responsible for maintaining the channel once the overall project is completed, Harrison said.
Phase III A is currently under a bidding process. Potential contractors are scheduled to be on site next week to examine the area, Harrison said. The phase is expected to be completed within 325 calendar days after the Corps issues a notice to proceed.
Construction is slated to begin by January 2013.
A public meeting will be scheduled prior to construction to answer questions from residents. A date for that meeting has not been determined.