BRADENTON -- It’s official: The Wares Creek dredging project is set to begin.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, announced this morning that it had awarded a $3.5 million contract for Phase I work at Wares Creek to TransWest Dredge.
Planned work consists of dredging approximately 37,000 cubic yards of sand between the Ninth Avenue Bridge and Manatee Avenue Bridge. Dredged material will be dried at the old City Hall site and trucked to the Lena Road Landfill for disposal.
“The collaboration with Manatee County to bring this long-awaited project to fruition has been outstanding,” said Emilio Gonzalez, project manager. “We have cleared hurdles and overcome many challenges but today we celebrate together as this important project gets under way.”
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The project focuses on the east branch of Cedar Hammock, which flows north through Manatee County and into the city of Bradenton, where it becomes Wares Creek. The project is designed to reduce flood risk and related issues within the Cedar Hammock-Wares Creek basin.
Currently the drainage channels in the area are inadequate to carry runoff from a five-year-frequency rainfall. The new plan will provide a 10-year level of protection.
The contractor will prepare the site for construction in July, and dredging is anticipated to begin in September, Corps officials said. Larry Rosen, vice president of TransWest said he hopes to begin the project in August.
The work will take place for 240 days. Phase II of the project is scheduled to be awarded in the spring of 2012.