OTTAWA — A diversion channel will be constructed on the west side of Ottawa to help alleviate flooding in the village.
Details were shared during a meeting Tuesday by Maumee Watershed Conservancy District officials at the Putnam County Educational Service Center.
The meeting was attended by Putnam County commissioners, Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer and engineering and contractor officials.
The project will be installing a diversion channel a half a mile north of Glandorf Road and re-enter the river near I-9, according to Steve Wilson, Maumee Watershed Conservancy District project manager. It will begin this spring and be completed this fall. The project is a mile long to create a 20-foot deep channel with 200,000 cubic yards of soil that will be moved.
“This project in combination with the work that was done on I-9 a few years ago when the road was lowered in combination with the diversion channel will drop the 100-year flood elevation in Ottawa by approximately a foot,” Wilson said.
An information meeting was held followed by a pre-construction meeting.
Mark Haynes Construction, of Norwalk, is the contractor for the project and Bockrath & Associates is the engineering firm.
Meyer said Ottawa received an $8 million grant for the $3.6 million project from the state to help reduce flooding in Ottawa. The project will be paid for using grant money from the state that was earmarked for flood reduction.
“The diversion channel will help with water flowing through it and basically cut the oxbow out and flow the water to the I-9 bridge and get it through the dam faster,” Meyer said.
Currently the water can’t get through the bridge fast enough. When the bridge was previously replaced in the mid ‘90s, the bridge approaches also were made a lot taller, according to Meyer.
“This is another step to alleviate flooding. It will never totally eliminate the 500-year flood, but will help so we won’t have damages from rains,” Meyer said.
The project is a remedy suggested by the Army Corps of Engineers as meeting the cost/benefit ratio.
Vincent Schroeder, Putnam County commissioner, said the project will help increase water flow so Ottawa won’t flood.
“The benefit will be hopefully less flooding in Ottawa on the west side. After the 2007 flood, everyone was amazed at how much Ottawa flooded. This is necessary for the incorporated area of Ottawa,” Schroeder said.
Michael Lammers, commissioner, said during the 2007 flood there were two main bridges left open on County Road 8 and County Road 19.
“If you take into account all of the people who have traveled through, the flooding affected the entire county and surrounding counties because of those roads being the only ones across the Blanchard River,” Lammers said.
He added that the flooding has affected the farming community and said the channel will benefit Putnam County and surrounding counties.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.