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Great Bend levee repairs OKed
Damage done by high water in 2019
levee damage pic
This is a view of Great Bend flood-control levee looking west from Kiowa Road. Erosion has caused this stretch to need repairs. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The City of Great Bend’s Arkansas River levee west of Kiowa Road experienced some erosion following the high water levels in 2019 and is need of repair. Noting the importance of the flood-preventing structure, the City Council Monday night approved contracting with Eakin Enterprises of Larned for the $138,236 project.

City Administrator Kendal Francis said the City has secured grant funding assistance through the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program. 

This will reimburse 75% of the total project costs, with the City responsible for $34,559 that will come from its levee maintenance fund.  

The project was first advertised for bid on Oct. 5, 2020, in accordance with typical bid procedures that include public notice, posting to the city’s website, direct solicitation of known earthwork contractors, etc. The first bid opening included one bidder who at $600,000 was significantly over the budgeted amount and staff rejected the bid, he said. 

After scaling back the endeavor, the project was re-advertised on Dec. 15, 2020. However, the results were similar, and the bids were rejected due to being similarly over budget, Francis said.

Eakin Enterprises approached the City with a proposal for council consideration, offering to complete the work within budget at a total project cost of $138,236. However, they require a project start and completion date that falls outside of the time frame allowed by NRCS, he said. 

NRCS has approved this proposal in principle and a request for a time extension has been submitted, Francis said.

Eakin noted it couldn’t begin until March since the firm is engaged in a project in Garden City. It would take three months to complete.

The work includes placing rip rap seeding, erosion control, and site clearing and restoration. 

The city could have saved some of the cost by hauling the material to the work site itself, but it didn’t have the manpower to do that, Francis said. In fact, if the city had the manpower, it could have done the all of the work, but that is not the case.