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Heidi Shaffer, Published September 04 2011

Diversion Discussion: Local sponsors on hook for $51M in I-29 costs

FARGO – Many questions surround the proposed Red River diversion under study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Today we continue our periodic column where Forum readers can ask their diversion questions and get answers straight from the corps.

This week, the corps focuses on an often-asked question about the effects of the diversion on Interstate 29.

Steve Dockter of West Fargo asks:

How will Interstate 29 be affected by the diversion? What will be done, and how much will it cost? Who pays those costs?

Corps response:

Bridges on both the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 29 will have to be constructed where the proposed diversion alignment crosses the roadway north of Fargo near Argusville and near Oxbow south of Fargo.

The estimated cost of these four bridges is

$26 million. In addition, Interstate 29 would be raised for approximately four miles within the upstream staging area south of Fargo to maintain transportation during flood events at an estimated cost of

$25 million.

The local sponsors – Fargo and Moorhead – are responsible for the

$51 million related to raising the roadway and bridges along I-29.

Pat Bellmore of Horace asks:

My property is in Warren Township Section 12. Does the corps know at this point what the possible elevation will be on the western bank? The Sheyenne Diversion has a western elevation height of about 910 feet near my property. I built my home in 1997 to an elevation of 913.5 feet. The thought was that this would be well protected, but now I need to know what this Red River diversion will do.

Corps response:

Currently there is no intent to build the western levee lower than the eastern levee. Local drainage issues along the entire diversion channel will be addressed in detail during the design and implementation phase.

The project will be designed to minimize impacts to tributaries, especially for smaller, more frequent flood events. The design goal is to not change the 1 percent chance floodplain outside of the diversion.

See Section of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement at www.internationalwaterinstitute.org/feasibility for general discussion.

Future design details will be shared with the public once available.

Do you have a question about the proposed Fargo-Moorhead diversion? Send us your question, and we’ll ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Email hshaffer@forumcomm.com (Subject: Diversion discussion) or write to Heidi Shaffer c/o The Forum, P.O. Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.

Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.