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$67 million bid awarded to Industrial Builders to raise I-29

Metro Flood Diversion Authority on April 9, 2021.
Metro Flood Diversion Authority on April 9, 2021.(Valley News Live)
Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 11:08 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - State and Federal officials met with the Flood Diversion Authority Friday morning to provide updates on the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Project.

The big announcement from today’s meeting is that officials have awarded a $67 million bid to Industrial Builders of West Fargo to raise a portion of Interstate-29. Senator John Hoeven said a four-mile stretch of I-29 needs to be raised to get it out of the flood plain, adding that this is a vital part of the flood control project.

The project extends from south of Exit 50 (Hickson Interchange) to north of Exit 54 (Davenport/Oxbow Interchange) and includes an up and-over where I-29 crosses the southern embankment near the Wild Rice River, bridge construction and replacement, a temporary by-pass, as well as work on adjacent county roads 18 and 81 in the vicinity of Oxbow.

“Raising the grade on I-29 is a major milestone on the path to constructing permanent flood protection in the Red River Valley and serves as the first step in building the Red River Structure, the most important federal element of this project,” said Senator Hoeven. “With the funding we’ve secured through Army Corps work plans in recent years, we are able move these critical efforts forward in a way that saves time and money, while also fulfilling nearly half of the federal funding commitment. Moving forward, we will work to ensure the new administration continues to meet this commitment and the Army Corps has the construction funding it needs to provide additional funding in future work plans.”

Hoeven calls it a “two-for-one deal” as Industrial Builders will be able to raise the interstate and do excavation work on the Red River Control Structure at the same time. Excavated dirt from one project will be used as fill for the other project. Officials say this will speed up the project and save money.

“The award of the I-29 contract is another major step towards completing permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead Area and shows the significant investment that USACE is making in partnership on this project,” said Joel Paulsen, Executive Director of the Fargo Moorhead Diversion Authority.

Gov. Doug Burgum applauded today’s announcement and also announced his plans to sign the $680 million bonding bill that passed the North Dakota Legislature on Thursday. The bill includes $435.5 million for the F-M diversion, ensuring that the state will fulfill its $750 million commitment to the project and increasing the state’s total commitment to $870 million for the $2.75 billion project. A bonding bill was a key piece of Burgum’s executive budget proposal for the 2021-23 biennium.

Burgum stressed the project’s vital importance to protecting life, property and the economy of North Dakota and the region from catastrophic flooding.

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