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Erik Burgess, Published September 07 2013

Second Street floodwall options up for public review

FARGO – An earthen dike has become almost a permanent fixture on Second Street in downtown Fargo because of consistent spring flooding in the Red River Valley.

But the city is edging closer to a permanent fix along Second. Four options are up for public review, and the City Commission could choose an official plan as early as October. The project could then be bid out next fall.

To review and comment on the plans, go online to www.cityoffargo.com/2ndStreetFloodProtection.

Estimated construction costs listed below do not account for the cost of property acquisition, utility relocation or design.

• Option 1A, or the base option: Second Street would be realigned to the west, requiring acquisition of the Sidestreet Grille, a Fargo Public Schools warehouse and the former Shakey’s Pizza building.

A concrete floodwall would line the road, with some removable wall pieces to allow for access to the river for recreational and maintenance purposes.

Estimated construction cost: $23.2 million.

• Option 1B: Similar to the base option, this plan would move Second Street a little farther to the west to allow for additional green space on the wet side of the dike.

More removable floodwalls would be installed, providing greater river visibility and connectivity. This option would require the same acquisitions as the base option.

Estimated construction cost: $23.5 million.

• Option 1C: The city would “abandon” Second Street, leaving the area between City Hall and the river as green space, which would allow for greater redevelopment of the riverfront, the city leaders say.

Second Street would be rerouted around City Hall in this plan, and the same acquisitions are required as the above options.

Estimated construction cost: $21.8 million.

• Option 2: Green space would be extended over the top of Second Street and the street would be lowered, creating a roughly 740-foot-long tunnel with a floodwall integrated into the side of the tunnel. This would allow for greater recreational and pedestrian use and access to the riverfront, city leaders say.

This plan would require acquisition of the same properties as above, as well as the entire Howard Johnson hotel.

Estimated construction cost: $44.1 million.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518