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Bids should be opened in early March for a project to ease flooding problems in an area of southwest Wichita. The $8 million project will construct a box culvert to improve drainage along Meridian, from McCormick to Pawnee.
City engineer Gary Janzen said the area is one of the worst flooding areas in Wichita, and it can be dangerous after moderate rain events. He said a large box culvert will be constructed to extend from the Arkansas River north of Pawnee, to Meridian and Orient, a distance of almost two miles.
Janzen said the culvert will have the ability to serve adjacent neighborhoods in the future, in an area between Meridian and Seneca.
Janzen said the drainage project will set the stage for a street improvement project for that section of Meridian. He said because of the drainage problems, the pavement on Meridian has deteriorated to the point that it will need full reconstruction.
The city has acquired federal funding to help with the street project, and it's scheduled to begin in 2015.