2014-04-19 / Front Page

Bids in on flood control levees

Two contractors submitted bids to bolster the flood control levees in Coudersport Borough, one of the many communities ordered by the federal government in 2010 to perform costly inspections and fix any identified problems.

No action was taken on the bids by Borough Council, which will have to scramble for more money before any work can begin.

Four companies requested bid packages. However, only two of them submitted proposals.

L. C. Whitford proposed to perform the work in five phases for about $720,000. Top Notch asked for more than $1.1 million; however, the Top Notch bid did not contain the requisite check for 10 percent of the bond requirement, so it was rejected.

Borough Manager Beverly Morris said Council members and staff will be discussing how to proceed.

A hydrological study uncovered deficiencies to the levee in the Mitchell Park area beside Mill Creek, a major tributary of the Allegheny River, as well as the Allegheny River headwaters at Coudersport Area Recreation Park (CARP).

A $467,000 state grant was obtained to help cover the cost and Council set aside some funds for the projects. However, the borough may have a hard time coming up with the entire sum, especially with the expected infrastructure improvement expenses related to the PennDOT Rt. 6 reconstruction project in the downtown area next spring.

Council could have chosen to ignore the levees, but that would have expanded the designated flood plain and forced property owners to buy costly flood insurance.

Contractors were bidding on a comprehensive project that includes raising the levee at CARP, bolstering an embankment and removing debris and sediment in that area, as well as raising and stabilizing the Mill Creek levee and removing debris and sediment that has accumulated there.

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