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F-M diversion model open house

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Rosemount, MN (WDAY TV) - Thursday, we got our very first peek at a portion of the diversion project, and WDAY has made the four-hour trek to see it.

The Army Corps of Engineers held a public open house in Rosemount, Minnesota, unveiling a to-scale model of the Maple River Aqueduct.

Here in Rosemount, you can really get a feel for just how big this portion of the project will be.

The Maple River Aqueduct model is built to scale.

It's monumental day bringing even larger first impressions.

April Walker/City of Fargo Engineer: “I'm very impressed, yes. I understood what they were planning to

Do, but it's still very cool to see it in action.”

You can't find it by the Red or Maple, but far away from Fargo, you really have to see it to understand how our river banks could transform.

Walker: “It really puts it into perspective and understand the magnitude of the project we're talking about.”

The Maple River Aqueduct is the first major structure slated for construction.

Craig Evans/Army Corps Engineer: “So it's one piece of the diversion project.”

And its 80 foot by 70 foot model shows engineers how to make the real project work.

Evans: “Whatever flow doesn't go across the aqueduct, will spill into the diversion.”

Matt Lueker/Helped Construct Model: “It's so much an optimization process, as opposed to a build it, see how it runs.”

Brett Coleman/Army Corps Project Manager: “Like all things, mother nature can throw something at us that we didn't expect but with this numeric model. There are opportunities to try different things.”

Before they opened the doors for tours, engineers in Rosemount spent months building, observing and testing the model... using things like paper...

Lueker: “This large recirculation, where there are no dots, indicates a dead zone or ineffective area and we want to mitigate that.”

Or pieces of plastic... to monitor water flow, velocity and efficiency; even simulating spring melting season.

Walker: “It gives you a good idea of you know, where you might have problems with erosion or where

you maybe have higher velocities that you can change your design a little bit.”

Lueker: “We're now down to the point where we can say this works, this is the best we can do hydraulically.”

…All to come up with the most cost-effective solution for the Red River Valley.

Coleman: “It's better to find that stuff out now before we actually build it.”

The model may be done, but the next step: Congress must first appropriate construction funding.

Thursday was the only day the model was available for public viewing.

Kay Cooley
Kay Cooley came to WDAY 6 News in September of 2012. She was born in a suburb of Chicago then made her home in Hershey, PA. Kay graduated from Northwestern University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At Northwestern, Kay was a member of the Division I Women’s Swim Team and a reporter for the Northwestern News Network on campus. Before coming to WDAY, Kay was working for KVRR in Fargo and interned at ABC27 in Harrisburg, PA. When she’s not out in the field reporting, Kay enjoys being active and spending time with friends and family. If you have story ideas, questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email Kay at
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