Randolph flood control plan is moving forward

RANDOLPH — After many years of debate and discussion, a project is now underway here to remove 131 of 137 homes from the flood plain.

U.S. Corps of Engineers Omaha Division staff members met with Randolph city officials Nov. 20 to discuss the project.

Last Wednesday’s design kickoff meeting included a general site review visit with the Corps of Engineers and city officials.

“The project is going to benefit the entire town,’’ Mayor George Bradley said. “I think it will impact the town overall very well. This will lift the town from the flood plain. The project may also affect valuations of property. This is a project that started two years before I took office.”

The project is being funded in part by a one-percent sales tax.

Corps of Engineers staff members involved in the Randolph meeting included: Ron Beyer, Project Manager, Lyle Peterson, Structural Engineer, Damon Birkby, Civil Engineer, Christian Davenport, Civil Engineer, Dan Jones, Engineer, Dennis Gaare, Geotechnical Engineer.

City Staff members included in the meeting were: City Administrator, Kelsey Backer, Director of Economic Development, Janelle Biernbaum, Aaron Nielsen, Utility Supt. and Mayor George Bradley.

City officials have high hopes for this project.

“The biggest hope is that eventually, it will have an influence on economic development,” Backer said.

As the project progresses, the City of Randolph, along with the Corps of Engineers, will host public meetings for the citizens to keep them informed.

Once future dates and times are determined for these meetings, they will be published in advance for the community.

Discussion on Phase One and Phase Two of the project included a review of site project maps which have been completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The design and engineering work for Phase One of the project is targeted for the Summer of 2020 for completion.

Once that phase has been completed by this group of engineers and approved, the Phase One of the project will be put out to bid.

The first phase of the project is the Down-Stream portion of the project which includes Sholes Road and down stream along with bridge relocations in that general area. When completed, the Sholes Road bridge will be 100-feet wide. The project is expected to take two years.

“Five bridges will be replaced. The main focus of phase one is looking at the channel width and designing new bridges,’’ Backer said. “The project actually spans the entire width of the community.’’

Phase Two of the project will be the Up-Stream portion of the project which will follow at a later date.

Wednesday’s meeting gave city officials a better chance to get to know the people they will be working with on this project.

“We were pleased to meet and work with our project Manager Ron Beyer along with his staff of engineers,” City Administrator Kelsey Backer said. “It gave us the opportunity to put faces to these individuals who are working on the project and whom we have been conducting conference calls with over the past several months.”

The city has been able to complete a comprehensive review of the site plan mapping and hold informative discussions about the different types of engineering that they will be working on over the next several months for the first phase of the flood plain project.

“Costs have been nothing so far except the feasibility study,’’ Backer said.

For anyone wishing to learn more about the project, the study is available at the city office and the library or online at the Corps.of Engineers’ website.

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