Portage River cleanout makes little progress PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 09:35
Farmers concerned with the frequent flooding of their property were once again asked to be patient Tuesday.
A project to clean out the Portage River is moving about as slowly as the river itself after residents petitioned in 2007 to have logjams and sediment removed from the waterway.
Little progress was reported Tuesday as engineers and officials from Wood, Seneca and Hancock counties heard from a representative of Wood County Soil and Water Conservation District about the process of mapping and studying the river. Once that's complete and a public hearing conducted, the project, estimated at nearly $2.8 million, can finally be sent out to bid.
The project's complexity should not be understated, however; it would involve clearing 46 miles of river and assessing to more than 9,700 land parcels in 112 square miles of watershed.
Jim Carter, district administrator and engineering technician of WCSWCD, took responsibility for some of the delay Tuesday, citing difficulties with a new computer mapping program and failure to take full advantage of the staff of Wood County Engineer Ray Huber.
Carter estimated that about 60 percent of the plans and specifications are now complete. Wood County contracted with WCSWCD to perform the design work in September 2012 at a cost of $73,000 and estimated it would be finished in six months.
Huber suggested some time might be saved by using a drone to complete surveying work, rather than having staff walk up and down the river.
"I'm willing to give that a shot to see if it would help being able to identify" the location and condition of logjams, he said.
"It looks promising."

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