F-M Diversion and Red River Valley Water Supply Project pick up speed

The diversion is the first P3 flood management project in North America. 

MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) -Plans for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion and Red River Valley Water Supply Project are picking up speed.

The diversion is the first public-private partnership flood management project in North America.

“Protection for the community is the most important part – anticipated to safeguard more than 235,000 people and 70 square miles overall, designed to withstand over a 100 year flood, and provide resiliency in the event of a 500 year flood,” Red River Valley Alliance Construction Manager Greg Yavicoli said.

This 30 mile diversion will not only provide permanent flood protection, it will generate revenue for the area.

“One of our primary goals is to keep the revenue in North Dakota, in Fargo – we have already started that. Just to give a quick example, we have already pumped in a million dollars worth of revenue to local dealers to buy our initial fleet purchase for staff vehicles. We could have easily gone to the manufacturer to buy our heavy iron for the project, which is an initial purchase pushing 50 million dollars – we kept that money in town,” Yavicoli explained.

The Red River Valley Water Supply Project also poses several benefits to the region.

“It will spur economic development and deliver a long term emergency water supply to mitigate the effects of drought on the region and the state,” Red River Valley Water Supply Administration Deputy Program Manager Merri Mooridian said.

The project would prevent devastating effects from dry conditions, bringing Missouri River Water to the Valley through a 165 mile pipeline.

“I think we all had a scare last summer when we had drought measures taken into effect in our community because we were concerned about the amount of water we had,” Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney said.

With 10 percent of the project moving forward, Mayor Mahoney and Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski are hoping to have it completed earlier than expected.

“We need to beef it up on steroids and bring it to six years. Anytime you prolong any project, it goes up in price. I think the state would have a capacity to help us out with that to get this project done in six years,” Mahoney said.

The diversion is expected to preserve $5.4 billion in wages and more than $3.5 billion in taxable sales.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News