Hoeven: FM Region's Flood Protection Project is a New Paradigm in Building Major Infrastructure

Senator Worked to Advance First-of-Their-Kind $569 Million WIFIA Loan & Public-Private Partnership; Fulfilled $750 Million Federal Funding Commitment

ARGUSVILLE, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today helped break ground on the diversion channel for the Fargo-Moorhead region’s comprehensive flood protection project. Hoeven worked to fund and secure a $569 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to support this portion of the project, the first major Army Corps project in the nation to utilize this tool. By removing the risk of increasing interest rates, securing a lower rate than other options and providing flexibility in its draw down and payback schedule, the $569 million loan will save the project nearly $500 million over the life of the loan, helping reduce the long-term expense resulting from the $1.5 billion portion of the project that is being privately developed. 

Today’s milestone follows Hoeven’s long-term efforts to advance comprehensive flood protection for the Red River Valley. This includes his recent work with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to secure a $437 million award for the project, which completed the federal funding commitment of $750 million, as well as his efforts over the years to advance the first-in-the-nation public-private partnership (P3), keep the project moving forward and overcome barriers to its construction.

“After well over a decade of effort, today we are taking a critical step toward permanently protecting the Fargo-Moorhead region against the threat of permanent flooding, while demonstrating a new paradigm for effectively and efficiently building major infrastructure projects in this country,” said Hoeven. “This is a project of firsts. The first major Army Corps flood protection project to utilize a WIFIA loan and the P3 structure. Further, we are the first that will be completed, because we have the $750 million federal funding up front and have put all of these pieces in place. These accomplishments come as part of a long line of efforts to secure the needed authorizations and resolve issues that threatened to delay the project.”

To date, Hoeven’s efforts have included:

  • Working to pass 16 acts of Congress, including:
    • 9 legislative provisions, such as the project authorization in 2014 and a new construction start authorization in 2016.
    • 7 separate appropriations to fund the project’s construction.
  • Coordinating efforts across four federal agencies.
  • Working with Senator Klobuchar and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to secure a $437 million award for the project, which completes the $750 million federal funding commitment.
  • Advancing this as the first major Army Corps project in the nation to utilize:
    • The P3 split-delivery model.
    • WIFIA loan.
  • Providing funding and flexibility to concurrently raise I-29 and begin excavating the Red River Control Structure to keep the project on schedule.
  • Helping renegotiate the Project Partnership Agreement to increase the federal funding commitment from $450 million.
  • Resolving the easement issue on lands purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding, allowing the project to use an alternative route.