Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, are on the west and east banks respectively of the Red River of the North approximately 150 miles south of the Canada/United States border. The Wild Rice, Sheyenne, Maple and Rush rivers in North Dakota and the Buffalo River in Minnesota also cross the study area.
The Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area is a major health, educational, cultural and commercial center. The area is prone to flooding. The Red River of the North has exceeded the National Weather Service flood stage of 18 feet in 51 of the past 113 years (1902 through 2014), and recently every year from 1993 through 2014, except 2012. A 500-year event would flood nearly the entire city of Fargo, a large portion of the city of Moorhead and several smaller communities in the area. Flooding occurs not only from the rivers, but also from large rainfall events that overwhelm storm drainage systems. Average annual flood damages are estimated at more than $195 million. Although emergency flood fights have been very successful, the area has a significant risk of catastrophic flooding.
The project is a 20,000 cubic-foot-per-second diversion channel in North Dakota with upstream staging. A feasibility study was initiated in 2008 and completed in 2011. A record of decision was signed April 3, 2012. The design agreement was executed on September 12, 2011.
This project was specifically authorized in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 on June 10, 2014 and received a new start and construction funding in the FY2016 Work Plan.
The State of Minnesota prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), as required under state rules, which was completed in May 2016. Their Determination of Adequacy/Record of Decision was issued on June 29, 2016.
The Diversion Board of Authority, the city of Fargo, North Dakota and the city of Moorhead, Minnesota are the non-Federal sponsors. The Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) was executed on July 11, 2016. The Agreement limits the federal share to $450 million plus inflation.
Fargo-Moorhead is the first Corps project to use a public private partnership (P3). Non-federal construction of the diversion channel using a P3 is expected to begin in late 2017. Federal construction will begin with the diversion inlet structure and is anticipated to start in the fall of 2016.
Fiscal (Construction) – Fiscal Year 2016
Federal Construction $5,000,000
Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 on June 10, 2014.
The current estimated first cost is $1,912,261,000 with the Federal share being $450,000,000.