Work is set to start on Monday on emergency repairs to an important farm road in south Spokane County.
A storm on Feb. 14 sent a torrent of water down Rock Creek south of Freeman, washing out Jackson Road where it crossed the creek.
The flood came as heavy rain fell onto snow and frozen ground, causing widespread damage across the region, especially in farming areas around Spokane.
The flood washed out a culvert used to carry the road over the creek and other parts of the road as well, said county engineer Bob Bruggeman.
Farmers near Freeman use Jackson Road during wheat harvest as a north-south corridor for moving combines and other heavy equipment.
They told county officials they needed the road fixed before harvest to avoid a costly detour and the public safety risk of putting large farm vehicles on state Highway 27 in the vicinity of Rockford.
The area affected is the northernmost portion of the productive Palouse wheat growing region, located north of Valley Chapel Road and west of Highway 27.
Bruggeman said his office moved quickly to obtain permits from three agencies to allow the use of construction equipment in the creek and along its banks.
Three construction firms on the county’s small works roster submitted bids for the job, with Schimmels Construction of Spokane winning the contract with a bid of $139,000.
Bruggeman said the contractor is being given 30 working days starting on Monday, which should allow for completion on or before Aug. 15.
A new culvert pipe is on order and should be delivered to the site by July 15, Bruggeman said.
That should allow just enough time for reopening of the road as farmers step up harvest activity there, he said.
The other bidders were Wesslen Construction Inc., of Spokane, at $158,000, and MJM Grand Inc., of Airway Heights, at $205,000.