Road closures make way for flood protection projects - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Road closures make way for flood protection projects

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You might not be thinking about flood protection with as dry as it's been, but those trying to help keep you and your homes safe are doing just that. Two new projects on 40th Avenue South and 4th Street South started on Monday, August 18, and they are part of six or seven going on right now!

"A week ago we saw all the orange markers going up and a letter was sent to us by the city that they would be putting in a retaining wall for the flood protection," says Fargo Resident Dona Thomas. 

Thomas and her neighbors on 40th Avenue South are one of two neighborhoods that will be more protected should we flood next spring. City engineers say underground utilities have to be moved under 40th Avenue and out of the way of flood wall construction, so today the road closed.

"The flood wall will look a lot like the other ones we've been constructing in town. It will be a concrete wall. Here it will be about seven feet tall," says Fargo Division Engineer Nathan Boerboom. 

The $3.5 million wall will stretch some 800 feet, nearly the length of three football fields. The second road closed on Monday is 4th Street South between 12th Avenue and 14th Avenue. 

"That is also for a flood wall construction and a lift station," says Boerboom. 

The $7 million dollar project on 4th Street is a reconstruction of the existing 4th Street levee. Engineers say the ground is moving and the levee is creeping toward the river. 

Crews plan to replace the old levee with a lighter flood wall that's farther away. That will help take away that instability. The lift station will pump storm water run off back into the river. As for Thomas, she says she doesn't mind the construction. She's just happy to see the city help protect local neighborhoods. 

"We do expect some noise for a few months, but that's just what you have to put up with," says Thomas. 

City engineers say roads will open again as soon as the utility work is done. They also say the first phase of the 4th street project will be finished this year. Work on a second phase of that project starts next summer. As for the one on 40th Avenue, the wall won't be done until sometime next spring.

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