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West Fargo's Moore Engineering has built its way up

For nearly a half-century, West Fargo-based Moore Engineering has provided engineering services to dozens of Minnesota and North Dakota communities.

Peter Tupa and Zach Skramstad mark boundaries
Photos by David Samson / The Forum Peter Tupa, left, and Zach Skramstad from Moore Engineering set up stakes to mark the boundaries for the street-widening project on Ninth Street East in West Fargo.

For nearly a half-century, West Fargo-based Moore Engineering has provided engineering services to dozens of Minnesota and North Dakota communities.

That's just one arm of a growing civil engineering and land surveying business that brothers Clifford and Marshall Moore launched in Fargo in 1960.

Moore Engineering now employs 100 people - engineers, land surveyors, civil technicians, administrative, clerical, support and part-time personnel - during its summer peak season, said Jeffry Volk, company president.

Five divisions are located in the company's year-old 22,500-square-foot complex at 925 10th Ave. E.: civil, municipal, transportation engineering, water resource engineering and land surveying.

"We've designed it to grow," said Volk, who started his career with Moore Engineering after graduating from college in 1977.

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"I was working in the municipal section," said Volk, a North Dakota State University graduate.

His first year was spent installing new streets at Page, N.D., he said.

Moore Engineering projects range from storm water retention ponds to city water towers and airports.

The firm is also recognized regionally for its work with surface water management and flood control.

Key projects include the Maple River Dam, the Sheyenne Diversion, and Fargo's Southside Flood Control Project.

Moore Engineering opened a branch office in Fergus Falls, Minn., in 2004, employing nine to serve its Minnesota clients.

The same year, the company became 100 percent employee-owned.

A diverse start

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Marshall and Clifford Moore started Moore Engineering after graduating from North Dakota State University with degrees in civil engineering.

"To start with, they were a jack of all trades," said board Chairman Roger Fenstad, who has logged 35 years with the company.

Moore Engineering moved to West Fargo in 1964 when Clifford Moore became city engineer.

Early on, the company was involved with installing housing infrastructure at North Dakota missile sites and Air Force bases at Grand Forks and Minot, Fenstad said.

Marshall Moore saw an opportunity to provide engineering services for water and sewer distribution to small communities, Fenstad said.

Today, about half of the company's 35 engineers work as city engineers for 40 North Dakota communities and 25 Minnesota cities, he said.

Water resources

In the early 1980s, Moore Engineering became involved with surface water management, drainage and flood control issues primarily in North Dakota.

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Volk became head engineer for the Southeast Cass Water Resource District's Sheyenne River flood control project.

The engineering firm provided water management planning for the Maple, Wild Rice and Goose rivers and Bald Hill Creek watersheds.

"Maple River Dam is our largest and most prominent one," Volk said.

The company has grown considerably over the past two decades.

"From the mid-90s to last year we grew five times in revenues," Volk said. "Our staff has tripled or quadrupled since that time."

What has propelled the growth?

"The city of West Fargo grew," Volk said.

The number of cities that Moore Engineering serves has also grown, resulting in need for additional staff, Fenstad said.

North Dakota communities such as Casselton, Mayville, Portland, Lisbon, Enderlin and Oakes have seen extensive revitalization, he said.

"We've been able to grow with them and help them grow," Fenstad said.

Repeated flood events - starting with Devils Lake in 1993 - allowed Moore Engineering to expand its water resources division, Volk said.

And the growth continues.

This summer, the company will likely start planning another building addition, Volk said.

"I guess that's a good problem to have," Fenstad said.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502

Related Topics: WEST FARGO
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