Flood control

Napa River bypass contract may be handed out this winter

Army Corps project will reduce downtown flood risk
2013-08-31T20:30:00Z 2013-11-25T17:05:31Z Napa River bypass contract may be handed out this winterCHANTAL M. LOVELL Napa Valley Register
August 31, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

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.

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(5) Comments

  1. kevin
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    kevin - August 31, 2013 9:32 pm
    "Once the bypass is complete, about 60 percent of the total flood protection benefits will have been achieved."

    When do we get 100%?

    Does that mean 40% more spending? Will the final project cost $600 million??
  2. Crosscountrykid
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    Crosscountrykid - September 01, 2013 7:12 am
    kevin, I too was taken aback with the 60% figure, thinking that with the completion of the bypass the entire project was nearing completion. If there's 40% to go, that's no small amount. And with federal funds becoming increasingly more difficult to procure, my concerns increase. Worse case scenario is that major work remains on flood control, the 1/2 cent sales tax has been diverted to roads, and we have still have significant flood liability. NVR and Mr. Marik, may I suggest a follow-up article on what's included in the 40% and how it will add to flood mitigation.
  3. Michael Haley
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    Michael Haley - September 01, 2013 6:13 pm
    This 60% number sounds wrong to me, at least based on what we have been told in the past. I thought it was already 60% done and the Oxbow bypass was the biggest piece left to do. I also don't think the money from the Feds is enough to finish the bypass, its' close but not quite enough.

    I will see what I can find out.
  4. Eric Hagyard
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    Eric Hagyard - September 02, 2013 9:45 am
    Here is the county website outlining all the projects to be completed for flood control: http://www.countyofnapa.org/Pages/DepartmentContent.aspx?id=4294968278 Looks like after the dry bypass we have: 1)Floodwalls, pump station and trail on east side of Napa River
    (Tulocay Creek to Third St) 2)Floodwalls, pump station, detention basin and trail on west side of Napa River (Imola to Hatt) and 3)Floodwalls/levees north of the Oxbow - Soscol detention basin and pump station
  5. glenroy
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    glenroy - September 02, 2013 1:03 pm
    How much is over budget already? 200-300%?

    How manys years over due?
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