Grants Pass begins emergency repairs on creek bank damage

A dump truck departs the closed Pine Street undergoing Griffin Creek bank repairs. (John Stoeckl/News 10)

Pine Street began losing its guard rail along Gilbert Creek a few years ago during excessive rain storms. It continued degrading more as the seasons went on. Although at a lessor scale, the same held true of Skunk Creek near the Water Treatment Plant.

On Sept. 9 the Grants Pass City Council conducted a special meeting to award two contracts to the bank stabilization projects. With the looming rainy season, both projects are considered emergency storm drain repair due to their failing banks.

“This is a really important project because it’s starting to threaten the road that we have there on Pine Street,” Assistant Director of Public Works Wade Elliott said. “The erosion, we’ve lost some of the guard rail section and it’s diverted the river channel.”

The project on Gilbert Creek will be to replace large woody debris as well as willow sticks to reinforce the bank. The project will cost $47,000, while the Skunk Creek project will run closer to $20,000.

Elliott said the challenge will be to continue support of salmon populations on Gilbert Creek. The project will include constructing a culvert system and having Oregon Fish and Wildlife transport the fish later this week.

The reason for the emergency storm drain repair was two-fold: repairing the road side bank and completing the work within a short window that involves the salmon.

“The in-water work window in a salmon bearing stream ends at the end of September.” Elliott said. “We really didn’t want this project to go through another winter and risk losing our road.”

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