The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District reached another milestone in its efforts to reduce flood risk to more than 235,000 people in the greater Fargo, North Dakota / Moorhead, Minnesota metro area.
The Corps of Engineers contractor, Ames Construction from Burnsville, Minnesota, is installing the first of two Tainter gates at the Wild Rice Structure near Horace, North Dakota, Sept. 19. The gate was hoisted by a crane and will be welded to strut arms that anchor the gate to the concrete structure, said Duane Perkins, St. Paul District technical lead engineer for the project.
Perkins said the gates will be used during a flood event to reduce the amount of water that enter the cities of Fargo and Moorhead. He added that the excess flood water from the Wild Rice River, as well as the Red River of the North. would then be diverted to a 30-mile-long channel the runs on the west side of the cities before reconnecting to the Red River of the North downstream of Fargo and Moorhead.
Speaking about the significance of the milestone at the site, Perkins said “This is another piece of the bigger puzzle to reduce the flood risk to the community.” He added that the Tainter gates were fabricated over the past two years in northwest Alabama and was excited to finally see that work come to fruition and see the gates get rotated into place. “We started the design on this project in 2017,” said Perkins. “After several challenges, he said it was an amazing experience to be able to see what was once just a drawing become something that is permanent and will ultimately help reduce flood risk to the community.”
Richard Tollefson, St. Paul District contraction officer’s representative for the Wild Rice Structure, said each Tainter gates weighs approximately 140,000 pounds. He said with the first of two Tainter gates being installed at the site, the team is essentially halfway through completing the Wild Rice Structure. Tollefson added that it was cool experience to tour the factory and see raw steel on a floor to now seeing that same steel fabricated into Tainter gates that are being installed on the structure. “I had a smile on my face watching the gates get raised,” he said.