The question I get most often as chair of the Diversion Authority is, “Will the Diversion ever be built?” The next sentiment I usually hear from most people is, “Get it done.”
I am happy to report construction on the F-M Diversion is underway. Construction on the project was on hold for almost two years, but this spring a federal judge allowed construction to continue. Contractors have been busy preparing the site of the diversion inlet control structure south of Horace, N.D., over the past few months and are ready to start moving dirt.
As the 2019 chair of the Diversion Authority, I am committed to continuing to let the public know that we are working hard for you and we are making progress. The truth is that the Red River, and its tributaries don’t make things that simple. Our geology makes flooding a regular threat and public safety is not something we trifle with when making decisions. Major infrastructure projects take time, which can be frustrating, but the due diligence and multiple extensive studies have been necessary to make sure we found the right solution to the flooding problem that we face. It is also important that we found a solution that is fiscally prudent, and though the costs are high, we have confidence the project is the most cost-effective, permitable alternative.
The fact is the diversion project has broad support from the leaders and residents of Cass County, Clay County and the cities of Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead. Leaders from these elected bodies have worked successfully together for the last eight years to develop the diversion project. There has been consistent agreement from both county and city leaders when it comes to how best protect the metro area.
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Over the coming months, construction activity is expected to ramp up around the diversion inlet control structure south of Horace. The Army Corps is also advertising for construction bids on the Wild Rice River control structure, which they plan to award for construction later this fall. In addition, we continue to purchase property necessary for the diversion channel in anticipation of resuming procurement of the private partner who will construct the diversion channel anticipated to start in late 2020. We remain diligent in our efforts to be fair and respect those whose property is affected by the project. If you would like to follow the project’s progress I encourage you to visit FMDiversion.com.
For an answer to question on if it will get built; “Yes. You can be assured that the diversion project will be built and is being built.”