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Construction and Bidding News
Flood of 1997River Crests: 39.5 Feet The 98.6 inches of snow in Fargo and quick melt in April created a huge flood that threatened many cities along the Red River. Bruce Furness, mayor of Fargo at the time, noted that many volunteers came together to save the city. Communities like Grand Forks sustained major damage.
Cass County initiates Flood Mitigation StudyMay 1997 After the devastating flood of 1997 in the Red River Valley, Cass County leaders initiate a study to find a permanent solution to flooding in the region.
Study recommends Southside Flood Protection ProjectJanuary 2001 Studies of different options focused on protecting neighborhoods in the City of Fargo. The recommendation was part of the Southside Protection Plan.
$9.5 Million FEMA Grant for studyFebruary 2001 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gives $9.5 Million to study solutions for flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Funds/Project transferred to the City of FargoJanuary 2002 Funds/Project transferred to the City of Fargo
4 Alternatives presented to the publicJanuary 2006 Four project alternatives were presented to the public for review and comment.
U.S. Army Corps begins federal feasibility studyJanuary 2008 The St. Paul District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the Fargo-Moorhead Metro Feasibility Study. The study was authorized by Congress in 1074.
5 options presented to publicJanuary 2008 Five project options were presented to the public for flood protection. These were all part of the Southside Flood Protection Plan.
ND and MN begin working on joint flood control projectEarly 2008 ND and MN Governors Hoeven and Pawlenty, along with Senators Conrad, Dorgan, and Klobuchar voice support for a two-state led flood control project.
60+ meetings about project plansSpring 2008 More than 60 public meetings are hosted in and around the City of Fargo to evaluate various options included in the Southside Flood Protection Plan.
Cost sharing for metro-wide planFall 2008 Leaders in Fargo and Moorhead agree to share the cost of a metro-wide flood plan to be completed in partnership with the Corps.
Metro Flood Management Committee formedFebruary 2019 The Metro Flood Management Committee consisted of elected officials from Fargo, Moorhead, Cass County, and Clay County, along with one appointed representative from the watershed district on each side of the river. There were 15 Minnesota members and 11 North Dakota members.
Flood of 2009River Crests: 40.82 Feet During the spring of 2009, the Red River threatened to flood the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. To fight the flood, emergency measures were used including 42 miles of temporary levees, 8 miles of Hesco, .3 miles of Porta-Dam and 19 miles of sandbags. In total, more than 7.3 million sandbags were used.
Three options proposed; Corps asked to study ND-side DiversionNovember 2009 Building a Diversion Channel in North Dakota was the preferred choice among Fargo-Moorhead leaders. Leaders asked the Corps to determine if a project with ND Diversion Channel could be cost-effective enough to qualify for federal funding.
Fargo sales tax beginsJanuary 2010 City sales tax of 1/2 cent begins with money being dedicated to flood protection projects. This taxes sales, use and gross receipts until Dec. 31, 2029.
Design beginsFebruary 2010 Designers begin working on the Project incorporating the years of study to date and best methods presented.
ND Diversion could be cost effective enoughFebruary 2010 A North Dakota Diversion Channel would be cost-effective enough to qualify for federal funding. Although the ND project would cost more than a MN Diversion Channel, local leaders said the plan would be supported. A ND Diversion also offers more protection from a 500-year flood event.
FM Leaders pick ND Diversion + upstream storageOctober 2010 The plan would give the Fargo-Moorhead region 100-year flood protection and the ability to fight a 500-year event with emergency measures. This plan is the locally-preferred plan, even tough the Minnesota-side Diversion Channel plan was more cost effective.
Permit applications beginFebruary 2011 The process to obtain permits for the Project begins federally and locally.
Minnesota begins EISFebruary 2011 The Environmental Impact Assessment for the first permit submittal is started by the Minnesota DNR.
Diversion Authority Board createdMay 2011 It became clear that the Diversion Channel would be built in North Dakota, the makeup of the Metro Flood Management Committee would need adjusting. The Metropolitan Flood Management Work Group unanimously approved the Joint Powers Authority Board with 7 ND members and 2 MN members. This board later became the Diversion Authority board. Read more
500-year protection recommendedDecember 2011 The Red River Basin Commission recommends metropolitan areas in the basin have protection fro 500-year flood events. The only metropolitan area with this type of protection is Winnipeg.
FEMA updates Moorhead mapsJanuary 2012 Updated FEMA floodplain maps are adopted in Moorhead. The new FEMA floodplain is set at 39.4 feet river gage (29,300 cfs). This now impacts 178 structures after post 2009-event acqusitions.
President's Budget includes $5 Million from Federal GovernmentFebruary 2012 President Obama's 2013 budget allots $5 Million for the FM Area Diversion Project.
OMB approves the planMarch 2012 North Dakota's Senator Kent Conrad announced that the White House's Office of Management and Budget approved a plan for the Diversion Project. Cost estimates from the Corps are around $2 Billion.
Record of Decision signedMarch 2012 North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven announced the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the FM Area Diversion Project.
Fargo passes 1/2 cent sales taxJune 2012 Voters in Fargo approved a half-cent sales tax with 60.3% of the vote. Revenue from the tax is used to fund various infrastructure projects, including streets and water improvements as well as internal flood protection.
First Project buyouts approvedJune 2012 The Diversion Board of Authority approves the first three buyouts for the FM Area Diversion Project.
Land Management Plan releasedJuly 2012 The Diversion Board of Authority releases the first version of a land management plan for the Project. The plan outlines which properties could be affected by the Project and the legal process the Board plans to follow when working with landowners.
Corps improves ProjectSeptember 2012 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improves the project by adding more water flowing through town with the construction of in-town levees, adding gates to the Diversion Inlet and Control Structure and moving the southern alignment. The changes save an estimated $100 Million in project costs and reduces the risk associated with the Project.
The Corps states the changes reduce the impacts to Richland and Wilkin counties by up to 85%.