The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a request for proposals on the Oxbow bypass project — a key component of downtown flood protection — meaning a contract could soon be awarded and work could begin this winter.
The bypass will carry floodwaters from the Napa River behind the Oxbow Public Market and dump it back into the river at the First Street Bridge, where Napa Creek spills into the river .
The request for proposals was issued Aug. 23. Proposals are due back within 30 days of that date, although the project’s size could cause the due date to be extended, said project manager Marshall Marik.
“Our goal is to award in September or October,” Marik said Thursday.
The project is anticipated to cost between $10 million and $25 million, according to the request for proposals. In June, it was announced that the Army Corps of Engineers had allocated $16.6 million to build the channel, which has been on hold for several years for lack of federal funding.
“It is anticipated the amount of funding received will be sufficient to complete the project,” Marik said.
The Corps of Engineers estimates it will take 16 months to construct the bypass, which will serve as an open-space area during dry weather and carry up to half of the Napa River waters around the Oxbow area during floods.
According to the request for proposals, the bypass will feature a kayak launch, picnic and activity areas, park facilities and a trail and walkway system.
Although the bypass will be a relatively small component of the overall Napa flood control project that stretches from Trancas Street to the Butler Bridge and has cost about $400 million, its completion will result in significant benefits. Officials estimate the project will provide about 30 percent of the overall project’s flood protection benefits.
Once the bypass is complete, about 60 percent of the total flood protection benefits will have been achieved.
The project is shovel-ready, with work able to begin after the contract is awarded, Marik said. While parts of the work may only be done during the summer months due to fish protection regulations, other parts can be constructed any time of the year.
“We’re just excited about constructing the dry bypass and furthering our efforts of flood reduction for the citizens of Napa,” Marik said.