The state Transportation Department has awarded a $5 million contract to a Ferndale company to clear mudslide debris off Highway 530.
The Seattle Times reports the contract was awarded to IMCO General Construction, the lowest of nine bidders on the job. The state had estimated the job would cost $7.6 million to complete.
Transportation Department spokesman Travis Phelps says the agency will meet with the company next week to finalize the contract. He also expects work to begin sometime next week, with clearing of the debris taking about a month to complete.
Phelps said workers plan to take it slow in case there are personal objects or the remains of those buried by the mudslide to recover. The number of workers on the project will be determined after IMCO gets a closer look at what needs to be done.
The president of IMCO is Tyler Kimberley, who took on the position in January 2013. The company has done a wide variety of projects in Washington, including water pipelines in the Seattle area and water treatment facilities in several communities, including Lynden.
IMCO General Construction was founded in 1978 by Patti and Frank Imhof.
Meanwhile, workers in Snohomish County are protesting that the contract wasn't awarded to a nearby company, including one man who is collecting signatures on a petition.
Phelps says the agency will work to get local residents with the skills needed to meet with the contractor and apply for work on the project.
"There are some potential opportunities for local (Snohomish County) residents," Phelps said.
Business editor Dave Gallagher contributed to the report.