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District team earns national value engineering honors

Published Sept. 3, 2013
FARGO, N.D. -- Katie Opsahl, planning, left; and Bob Edstrom, project management, prepare for a public meeting about the Fargo, N.D./ Moorhead, Minn., Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project in Fargo June 26.

FARGO, N.D. -- Katie Opsahl, planning, left; and Bob Edstrom, project management, prepare for a public meeting about the Fargo, N.D./ Moorhead, Minn., Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project in Fargo June 26.

FARGO, N.D. -- Kevin Bluhm, planning, second from the right, discusses the Fargo, N.D./ Moorhead, Minn., Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project with area citizens during a public meeting in Fargo June 25.

FARGO, N.D. -- Kevin Bluhm, planning, second from the right, discusses the Fargo, N.D./ Moorhead, Minn., Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project with area citizens during a public meeting in Fargo June 25.

  The district earned another national-level award for engineering earlier this summer at a summit in Arlington, Va. The value engineering team received the national award from the Society of American Value Engineers, or SAVE, International organization during the SAVE Value Summit June 26. 

  The Gordon Frank Award recognizes outstanding teams and government accomplishments. It also highlights the value methodology in government projects that have benefited from decreasing costs while improving quality. The Fargo, N.D./ Moorhead, Minn., Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project was selected for this award.

  The team was also recently recognized as the recipient of the Department of Defense Value Engineering Award in the “project” category.

  “It’s great to see the team being recognized for their hard work,” said Brett Coleman, project management. “The coordinated effort between the Corps and the sponsors allowed for the value engineering team to find areas within the project where we could potentially save tax dollars. They truly put the ‘value’ in value engineering.” 

  The proposed project involves a 35-mile long diversion channel located in North Dakota that will divert flood waters around the Fargo/Moorhead area. The proposed project will have the ability to temporarily store up to 150,000 acre-feet of floodwater upstream of the diversion channel inlet to minimize impacts to downstream communities. 

  The award nomination included three value engineering studies and two value-based design charrettes. There were nearly 100 participants and facilitators involved in the success of these studies, and they included local sponsors, consultants and Corps personnel.

  “I [was] pleased to endorse the nomination,” said April Walker, city engineer for Fargo. “Because of the successful implementation of value management, the design team considered long-term operations and maintenance during design rather than incorporating it as an afterthought.”

  Megan McGuire, planning, said the value engineering program is a structured method of finding cost savings and improving value. “During a long design process, it can be easy to get lost in the details,” she said. “Value engineering studies are a chance to look at the bigger picture, see how all the pieces fit together and why.”