Moorhead, Fargo Mayors Weigh in on Federal Judge’s Block of F-M Diversion Project
The $2.2 billion proposal calls for a diversion channel to carry floodwaters around the Fargo area
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — U.S. District Judge John Tunheim has blocked construction on the F-M Diversion.
Tunheim has ruled that the project needs to obtain the necessary permits from Minnesota before construction can proceed.
Minnesota so far has rejected the permits.
The $2.2 billion proposal calls for a diversion channel to carry floodwaters around the Fargo area.
The F-M Diversion Authority and Army Corps of Engineers want to proceed with work on the North Dakota side without waiting for Minnesota’s approval.
Tunheim says there’s no question that Fargo and Moorhead need permanent flood protection.
He urged the parties to work together to find common ground.
“Last time we did this, it was a $1.5 billion project,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney. “When we repriced it, it was $2.2. You can imagine, every time you delay it, the price goes up. So we’d just like to, sometime, set a line and say ‘let’s get started.”
“I guess our goal is to always work towards flood protection for our cities and we will continue to do that,” said Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams. “I hope this will be an opportunity for Minnesota DNR to start up working groups again.”
Minnesota Gov. Dayton said in a statement: “This ruling is excellent news for the safety and protection of Minnesotans, whose lands and livelihoods could be devastated by the diversion project, as proposed. ”