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Corps of Engineers set to reroute Wild Rice River through structure

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 29, 2023
Updated: March 29, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will reroute the Wild Rice River through the Wild Rice River Structure March 31 at or near 7:30 a.m.

Rerouting the Wild Rice River will be a major milestone for the Fargo, North Dakota/Moorhead, Minnesota Flood Risk Management Project. After three years of construction, Ames Construction, Inc., will permanently divert the Wild Rice River through a gated concrete structure, a project first. This reroute will allow Ames to complete construction of a dam embankment across the existing Wild Rice River channel.

The Wild Rice River Structure is a concrete control structure with two 40-foot wide Tainter gates. Upon completion of the entire diversion project, the Wild Rice and Red River structures will regulate flows through the metropolitan area during large flood events. The Red River Structure is also under construction and the permanent reroute of the Red River through that structure is anticipated in the next two to three years. It is important to note that the structures will not be used to control flooding until the entire diversion project is complete and approved for operation.

The Wild Rice River Structure is a part of the congressionally authorized Fargo-Moorhead diversion project which includes 30-mile-long diversion channel in North Dakota with upstream staging. The plan includes a 21-mile-long southern embankment, multiple highway and railroad bridges, three gated control structures and two aqueduct structures.

The Corps is working in partnership with the cities of Fargo and Moorhead and the Metro Flood Diversion Authority to build this project, which will provide flood risk management for more than 235,000 people and 70 square miles of infrastructure in the communities of Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Horace and Harwood.



Public Affairs

Release no. 23-015