Working up to seven days a week, excavators move 50,000 to 70,000 cubic yards of material a week as contractors work through the winter months to complete the Roseau, Minnesota, flood risk management project.
When excavation of the final phase of the project started in November 2014, an estimated 700,000 cubic yards of material was yet to be removed to complete the diversion channel. Other components to be constructed during the last phase include a structure in the Roseau River that splits the flow between the river and the diversion channel during high water events. Recreational features like biking and hiking trails will be completed as well.
“At this current rate, we should be mostly done moving dirt by the end of January,” stated Tom Schmit, project engineer for the project. “There will still be some final grading, sod work and other activities that will have to wait until the ground thaws in the spring, but we’re getting close.”
For more than a decade, following severe flooding in 2002, the city of Roseau, has been working with the Corps of Engineers to study, design and construct the flood protection system for their community.
The Corps and the city began constructing the project in 2009 and have collectively invested more than $29 million to reduce the flood risk within the community. The project consists of the 4.5 mile diversion channel that will reduce the river flows within the city, more than 45 acres of recreation opportunities to include a scenic overlook, two interpretive sites, birding sites, nine miles of off-road vehicle trails and seven miles of multi-use trails.