Federal funds of $61 million designated to Minot flood protection

Infrastructure dollars designated for Minot flood protection

Submitted Photo A road is repaved, looking toward Sixth Street and Minot Public Library, following utility work required to support the Maple Diversion project.

A federal contribution of $61.45 million toward flood protection in Minot and the Souris River Valley has been secured, Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, announced Wednesday.

Hoeven reported he worked with the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, to secure the funds from money appropriated by Congress for infrastructure. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, received the funds to complete phase 4, the Maple Diversion Channel and levees north of Minot, from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Plan approved by Congress. Completion of the Maple Diversion will tie the previous three phases together and complete flood protection for 60% of residents.

“Receiving $61.45 million to deliver the federal portion of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project is wonderful news,” said Col. Karl Jansen, St. Paul District commander, in a news release. “We are thrilled to advance our partnership with the Souris River Joint Board and remain committed to doing our part in fulfilling the vision of comprehensive flood risk reduction for the great people of Minot and the Souris River valley.”

“We’ve worked hard over the last decade to secure the federal funding and approval to advance permanent flood protection in the region,” Hoeven said in his announcement. “This is a big win for the community and will help to ensure the safety and well-being of those living in the Souris River Valley, as well as the region’s long-term economic stability and growth.

“With this award, we have overcome two hurdles by providing all of the federal funding needed for phase 4 as well as authorization to begin construction. We secured this funding under the bipartisan infrastructure bill and worked with OMB and the Army Corps to make sure it went to Minot, separate of the Corps’ annual work plan.”

Submitted Photo Utility work necessary for the Maple Diversion project is conducted near Minot Public Library last year.

The Souris River Joint Board had been waiting to see if the project would make it onto the Corps of Engineers’ work plan, so Wednesday’s announcement eliminated that wait.

“We are certainly excited that the federal piece of that phase of the project is going to come to fruition,” said Ryan Ackerman, administrator for the Souris River Joint Board. The federal dollars will provide 65% of the funding for the Maple Diversion.

“It’s big news for the project as a whole as well,” Ackerman said. “Now that we have a federal injection coming into the project, it will allow us to extend those state and local resources further and accomplish more phases of the project.”

He said the design of the Maple Diversion project is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The joint board will request state funds of the 2023 Legislature to advance Maple Diversion construction in the 2023-25 biennium. The City of Minot is providing the local share through bonding to be paid with city sales tax.

“This funding is a big win for our state as North Dakotans know how painstakingly slow the Army Corps can be,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, said, “The funding from the bipartisan infrastructure package is crucial to protecting our state against future floods and improving our communities’ water supply and wastewater facilities. It also makes much-needed investments in Lake Sakakawea’s recreation access. I am glad to see the infrastructure package already doing good work for the people of North Dakota.”

The funds for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project are part of $533.9 million in funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that have been designated for North Dakota projects. The funding includes $437 million for Fargo Moorhead Comprehensive Flood Protection and $20.15 million for recreational maintenance around the Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea, including repair of the Penstock Gallery roof, update of the East Totten Trail campground electrical, rehabilitation of the gates bubbler and heater systems, and dredging.

The only other federal funding for Minot flood protection has been a $9.8 million Defense Community Infrastructure Program award secured by Hoeven to support the fifth phase. Under design, that phase entails the Fourth Avenue tieback levee system in northeast Minot, construction of about 2,400 feet of new floodwall, a removable closure through the floodwall and about 2,100 feet of city roadway reconstruction with the relocation of Railway Avenue.

Ackerman reported to the Ward County Commission this week on the progress of the flood protection project. The joint board recently awarded the final phase of Tierrecita Vallejo, which entails levee from the U.S. Highway 83 Bypass and west about 1,500 feet. Construction is to begin in the spring.

The third phase of construction north of Colton Avenue in Burlington is about 90% complete and should finish this summer, Ackerman said. The fourth and final phase in Burlington is to be bid soon, allowing completion of protection for that community in mid-2023, he said.


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