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Ground-breaking ceremony is held for Randolph flood control project

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RANDOLPH — The idea of a flood control project to get the community of Randolph out of the floodplain was one that had floated around these parts for over 30 years.

In the last few years, the Randolph City Council decided to tackle this long-standing problem.

The project faced turbulent waters on many occasions, as grants, plans and personnel changed.

Friday marked an important day for the community as state and area dignitaries gathered here to mark the beginning of the long-anticipated project.

Mayor George Bradley welcomed residents and construction officials to the ground-breaking ceremony.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative, Greg Johnson, said he is glad they are able to help the community.

“Over 400 residences and businesses will be removed from the floodplain in Randolph when the project is completed,” Johnson said. “It’s always a goal to have a successful project, and we are fortunate the Middle Logan Creek channel project will fulfill that goal to carry the water from a 100-year flood through the city when completed.”

Randolph has experienced much flooding over the years. The last 100-year flood event took place here in 2019.

Residents approached the city in the early 1990’s asking for help because they were being required to carry costly flood insurance, an item that made it difficult for some to keep their heads above water.

The Council began exploring options in 1991 when former City Administrator Cinda Jones began the paperwork to try and get the community out of the floodplain.

A decade later, the city asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for help with a flood control project.

The issue got bogged down over the years, and was pushed to the back burner for awhile, but former Randolph Economic Development Coordinator Gary Van Meter made it a priority. Countless meetings and

Countless meetings and studies were conducted, with a feasibility study completed in 2017. That study then led to an agreement between the city and the Corps.

In 2018, Randolph residents voted to put into place a 1.5 percent city sales tax to provide funds to assist with the $6 million project.

“After 20 years of addressing the issue, years of endurance by the residents, the city of Randolph will move past costly flood insurance and toward economic growth for home and business construction,” Mayor Bradley said. “For 20 years we never gave up.”

The plan calls for channel widening and for replacement of several bridges.

The first phase of the construction began last week on Bridge Street and Sholes Road.

When the project is completed, the Middle Logan Creek Channel will be widened out, and two bridges spanning the creek will be removed or replaced. The project is expected to be completed by September 2022.

The next phase of the project is expected to begin in the summer of 2021. This phase will widen more of the channel and do more bridge work and is expected to be completed in 2024.

Over the years, it looked on many occasions as though the project would sink from the weight of all of the government bureaucracy, but city officials kept trudging along. In the ensuing years, they

In the ensuing years, they established partnerships with the Corps, Cedar County, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District and the Lewis and Clark Natural Resource District.

Current city administrator Ben Benton said it was important to keep the ball rolling.

“Randolph is a community that cares, is focused on the future — even though it took a little while to get this accomplished,” he said.

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