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2nd St N Will Be Preserved in Flood Protection Plan - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

2nd St N Will Be Preserved in Flood Protection Plan

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As our pattern of late-fall rainfall continues, minds are turning again to the river now approaching minor flood stage.

Fargo City Commissioners unanimously approved the building of a flood wall along 2nd St. North in Downtown Fargo to prevent the construction of earthen levees year after year.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman shows us how leader got to this decision and what they're doing to put a stop to the temporary flood protection.

Five times in the last five years, 2nd St. rose with the river. Now Fargo wants a permanent solution.

"We have to be cognizant of green space. We have to be cognizant of building a structure that's going to last more than 50 years," Mayor Dennis Walaker said. "I still think it's a great opportunity."

Over the last few weeks, city engineers have been gathering public input.

"What we learned is green space is very important," April Walker, City Engineer, said. "Having an active green space is very important to all of the respondents we heard from."

Trying to add river access without adding cost, to balance protection with convenience.

"Overwhelmingly, they opposed the closure of 2nd St. because of what it meant to their daily lives, in terms of work and getting from point A to point B," Tim Flakkol, of NDSU Downtown, said at the City Commission meeting of the people surveyed in his neighborhood.

Now, engineers believe they can achieve it all.

"We would like the opportunity to move that option forward... an option that has a floodwall that keeps a three-lane roadway and try to add to it some value, in terms of green space, public space and connectivity," Walker said.

Local businesses share in that confidence, as Mike Hahn, Director of the Downtown Community Partnership, echoed the same priorities for the project.

"We like the idea as far as where this is going," he said. "We also like the process of taking all those options considered and coming with some type of hybrid."

So, the future of 2nd St. will be built off a community foundation.

Now, to help engineers go back to the drawing board, the City Commission set aside $50,000 to hire a landscape architect. Designing a project that will encourage people to use the space was a major prerogative for the Downtown Community Partnership to get on board.

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