Work on the first phase of the Mohave Wash flood control project is scheduled to start after Mohave County officials issue the notice to proceed to the Glendale-based contractor today.
Combs Construction will take an estimated 151 days to complete the project, county Engineering Manager Ray Stadler said.
The first phase calls for installing box culverts at Northern Avenue and Bank Street and channel engineering at those locations.
Stadler was among more than 30 people who attended a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon at a weed-covered, vacant lot at Northern Avenue and Butler Way in Butler to kick off the project.
The county supervisors on Feb.
18 voted 3-0 to accept a bid of about $2.8 million from Combs, which is doing another project along the wash within the city limits of Kingman.
Representatives from the county, city of Kingman, Combs and Northern Avenue businesses posed with shovels as a cold wind blew.
Combs project manager Kevin Stockbridge said he looks forward to starting work on the project.
"This work has been planned for a long time, and Mohave County has been a really good owner to work for," he said.
Also looking forward to the project is Sue Becker, who has lived in the Kingman area for more than 25 years and plans to take over a nearby flower shop within a month.
"I think it is excellent," she said.
"I think it will cut down on the vandalism if we get more people out here."
Becker said she never experienced a flood in the wash, adding, "I don't really want to."
The prime purpose of the project is to lessen recurrent floods that have damaged homes and other property along the course of the wash.
The county Flood Control District previously bought the homes of more than 40 property owners along Adams, Irving, Pinal and Roosevelt streets to make way for the project.
Forty-one homes outside the flood area were flooded a year ago, said Philip Wisely, a civil engineer intern with the flood control district.
He said the homes are located near the wash between Bank and Gordon Drive.
"And this channel should alleviate that problem," he said.
While the project is designed to alleviate flooding, motorists using nearby streets may face some inconvenience during the construction phase.
Stadler said the county plans to set up detours on Bank from Sierra Vista Avenue to Arizona Street around the clock, beginning about March 27.
The Mohave Wash project, which is being done in three phases, will cost an estimated $7.1 million, county officials have said.
The county is paying for the project through a flood control tax of 50 cents on every $100 in assessed valuation.