The Wenatchee City Council is moving ahead with the Ninth Street Basin Water Quality Retrofit, known colloquially as the Ninth Street Stormwater Project.

The Department of Ecology is funding this project via the Stormwater Financial Assistance Program (SFAP).

It seems that construction will be handled by J&K Earthworks, LLC, a contractor out of Rock Island. Yesterday a motion was put forth to award the contract to J&K Earthworks, and to authorize Mayor Mike Poirier to sign the relevant documents.

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In late April, the city announced its intention to start soliciting bids. Out of the eight bidders that subsequently came forward, J&K was the lowest responsive bidder, meaning it complied more or less fully with the terms of this project. The contractor's bid amounted to just over $3.6M, marginally lower than the engineer's estimate of $3.8M.

With this project, the city hopes to "remove the municipal stormwater discharges from [No. 2 Canyon Drain] and add water quality treatment to the Ninth Street stormwater system."

Left unmanaged, stormwater runoff can be a hindrance to both humans and marine life, according to the Department of Ecology. The Columbia River is famously rife with salmon and steelhead, but their habitat is continually jeopardized by untreated runoff.

Construction on the stormwater project is poised to begin next month; it'll wrap up on Halloween. In the intervening period locals will have to navigate "partial road closures."

"There will be nuance traffic detours," says Jessica Shaw, Deputy Public Works Director of Utilities for the City of Wenatchee. "We would encourage residents to pick a different route if they don't live in this area - don't try to cross through here while we're under construction."

City Council meetings can be streamed in their entirety on the city's YouTube channel, Wenatchee TV.

Salmon River Scenic Byway, Idaho

Salmon River Scenic Byway, Idaho

Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

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