INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 05, 2011, 06:25 PM

Diversion digging may start by 2013

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Shovels may be going in the ground to start digging a Red River diversion in less than 2 years. Construction on the outlet of the diversion could start as early as 2013.

Shovels may be going in the ground to start digging a Red River diversion in less than 2 years. Construction on the outlet of the diversion could start as early as 2013.

Soil testing is underway east of Argusville where the Red River Diversion would flow back into the main channel. The outlet structure that would be built here should be the first part of the project to have design work completed on.

Keith Berndt – Cass County Administrator: “Parts of the project will be designed in conjunction with construction. So construction may start on one end of the project, the north end and as that works south those components that are still a few years away from construction would be designed at that time.”

When the digging for the diversion starts, it's going to start right here on the driveway to Vaughn Johnson's House.

Vaughn Johnson – Lives at Diversion Outlet: “I think the Fargo-Moorhead area needs a diversion.”

Johnson has lived on this property for 25 years, but he's willing to move to make way for the diversion. He's watched the surveyors come through and the soil sampling, but he feels a little out of the loop on exactly where the project stands.

Vaughn Johnson: "It’s puzzling right now. I wish I knew exactly what I could do or what was in the plan. I know there are a lot of things, but it's kind of a waste of time. You don't know whether to work on your house or whatever.”

Keith Berndt: “There's got to be a concerted effort to get information out on this project maybe better than we have in the past.”

Johnson will have a chance to get some answers next week at a meeting in Harwood for property owners on the north end of the diversion.

Whether construction begins in 2013 will depend on what happens with funding. The finance committee of the Flood Diversion Authority is considering different options for keeping the money flowing.

Local bonding may become necessary to keep design work going and to get construction started. The committee will consider scenarios with or without federal funding.

Pat Zavoral – Fargo City Administrator: “If it doesn't then the project may slow down, if we get it than the project will accelerate. If it accelerates then do we have the same amount of money available to us if it didn't.”

The Army Corp of Engineers will likely present the diversion plan for funding by the end of this month.

Tags: