U.S. Army Corps Leaders Get Their First Look at the F-M Flood Diversion

Leaders with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are happy with the Diversion project so far

FARGO, N.D. — Leaders of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came all the way from Washington, D.C. to get their first look at the FM Flood Diversion construction.

The project, which will take at least six and a half years to finish, recently started near Horace, North Dakota.

Army Corps Major General Ed Jackson saw it in person for the first time with a tour in the sky.

So far, he’s liking it.

“I feel really good,” said Jackson. “This project is in the right place with the right focus.”

Cass and Clay county leaders brought their concerns to the Corps.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said they initially asked for $70 million from the federal government to fund this year’s portion of diversion construction, they only got $20 million for 2017.

One of their biggest concerns is getting reliable and consistent federal funds.

The future is uncertain, since the Trump administration has not put federal diversion funding in the 2018 budget.

But Jackson said the Corps will strive to get this project the help it needs.

“It’s the way of the future,” said Jackson. “As we look to leverage more private capital financing to deliver these big infrastructure projects and the current administration is really looking hard right now on how they can do more projects just like the Fargo–Moorhead diversion project.”

Another concern is being able to let landowners know where the diversion will be built with enough time for them to prepare.

“We need to continue to work on design so we can tell landowners where this is going, because it’s not quite clear where the project is going,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney. “We need that tightened down so that farmers and ranchers can find out what’s happening.”

During April’s groundbreaking, many people were worried about the diversion’s long term effects.

But like it or not, the project is still moving forward.

“We’re going to continue to press forward to try to meet the schedule because that’s the way the financing has been lined up and that’s what we’re going to try to achieve,” said Jackson.

Governor Burgum also met with the Army Corps leaders to complement their working relationship with North Dakota.

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