FEBRUARY 2020 UPDATE
Donors, supporters and interested parties,
Our Fall Thorofare update was merely reporting on the "permitting" phase of the project. It is referred to as the "quiet" phase because the only noise is the shuffling of papers while the engineered project seeks all of the permits that need to be sought and approved before anything else can proceed.
The number of permittees that need to stamp their approval is numerous.
Progress is slow and grinding because any one of them can cause the project to be required to redesign some phase of the work.
At this writing, permitting phase has been completed enough to proceed wih the next phase.
The Idaho Department of Water Resources is the controlling authority on the project overseeing the laborious job of packaging the final design with the engineering contractor Mott MacDonald. This process is painfully detailed because the documents produced will be the ones that will be used when the project goes out for bidding by contractors. IDWR is determined to see substantial design completion by early April so they can issue an official "Notice of Intent to Bid". The plan is to hold pre-bid meetings at Priest Lake in late May and have the stage set for the RFBs (requests for bids) and selection of contractors by mid-summer 2020. If all goes as according to the plan, construction will begin Fall of this year and will be completed in Winter of 2021.
During the "permitting phase" I was curious with regard to why it was such a complicated process requiring so much time. When you figure that such a big project does require a major amount of attention when you are dealing with structures, waters, rock walls etc. I inquired about all of the entities that have to permit our saving of access to the Upper Priest Lake and I want to share with you just one example of the drudgery that can drag down progress.
Of course, due to the nature of saving the thorofare, the Army Corp of Engineers must approve many aspects of the project, which are under their authority. However, as a piece in their permitting, there is the involvement of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHIPO). At this writing we are awaiting for their approval.
SHIPO's questions included whether there are elements of the existing breakwater that should be considered historic and be preserved. This is part of the permitting process that make it so excruciatingly laborious. For 5 years we have been pounding on the job of getting rid of the decaying, leaking, often repaired, useless structure and someone might want to preserve it as historical view point!
ONE MORE ITEM FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
The Save the Thorofare Fund is STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS! We could use some help in securing our share of financial support. Our outreach was outstanding and we met our goal of $150,000 to join with the other supporting entities - State of Idaho, the Idaho Deptment of Water Resources and Bonner County. Unfortunately one of our pledgees, a local business, had to withdraw their pledge due to unexpected reversals.
Should previous donors and or interested parties would feel like helping to fill that gap, please know that it would be welcome.
To make it easy just click visit https://www.savepriestlakethorofare.com/donate --
Cash, checks, credit cards and PayPal -- all work!
Your Breakwater Commitee