« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Published August 09 2012

Diversion Authority hears initial proposals to change project

FARGO – Metro Diversion Authority officials received a “high-level update” Thursday about forthcoming – and potentially significant – changes that might be recommended this fall for the $1.8 billion Red River diversion project.

Earlier this year, Fargo-Moorhead consultants embarked on seven post-feasibility studies. They sought to make the project more efficient and to assess alternatives for the southern portion of the 35-mile channel, where the project is most controversial due to its impacts on rural residents.

Diversion Authority leaders received an initial briefing Thursday on what those months of study found, a presentation that “set the stage for future meetings where we will be taking action,” Chairman Darrell Vanyo said.

The authority’s consultant team will unveil their final recommendation on Sept. 13, which will likely be a combination of the various study proposals board members heard about on Thursday.

Diversion officials will then have a month to gather public input before voting on the final plan in early October.

In embarking on the post-feasibility studies, the authority’s consultant team used the federally approved plan as their baseline, said Bruce Spiller, technical services manager for the authority.

Spiller cautioned that any significant changes to the alignment would likely require further approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

None of the proposals are final yet, he added.

Each will be evaluated on implementability, cost, risk and impacts to property, the flood plain, the environment and transportation.

“Implementability is No. 1,” Spiller said. “We’re not going to recommend something that we don’t believe we can implement or build.”

Here is a look at the seven proposals the Diversion Authority is considering: