Hoeven Secures Funding and Flexibility to Raise I-29, Advance Red River Control Structure and Keep Red River Valley Flood Protection Project on Schedule
Enables Corps to Award $67 Million Contract to Raise I-29
FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, joined by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Governor Doug Burgum, today announced that he has secured the funding and flexibility to enable the Army Corps of Engineers to raise I-29, advance the Red River Valley Control Structure and ensure that the permanent flood protection in the Red River Valley stays on schedule. Hoeven worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to bid the I-29 road raise portion of the project first, which will save money and keep the project on schedule. The nearly $67 million contract to Industrial Builders, Inc. of West Fargo will raise approximately 4 miles of the I-29, allowing traffic to continue flowing up through the 500-year flood elevation. Further, the grade increase will utilize materials excavated from the site of the Red River Control Structure, initiating construction on this critical aspect of the flood protection project, saving money and keeping the project on schedule.
Today’s announcement followed a roundtable discussion that Hoeven held with Klobuchar, Burgum, local leaders and Army Corps officials, where he outlined his efforts as a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee to advance the project. After an earlier plan would have delayed the road raise, Hoeven worked with former Assistant Secretary of Army R.D. James and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide the Corps with flexibility to accelerate the 1-29 road raise. This approach also allows for the excavation of the control site, which not only creates the cost-savings, but keeps the federal portion of the project on schedule.
The senator also worked to secure increased funding for the Corps’ construction account in annual appropriations legislation and ensure the Red River project receives funding in Corps work plans. The contract with Industrial Builders comes from funding that Hoeven worked to include in the Corps’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 work plan. The senator also recently announced that the FY2021 work plan includes $115 million for the project, which will further support construction of the Red River Structure. The project has received $310 million in federal construction funding to date.
“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.”
“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.
“We appreciate USACE’s continued involvement in the Flood Diversion Project as well as the hard work of both Minnesota’s and North Dakota’s congressional delegations to support long-term flood control for the Fargo-Moorhead region,” said Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson, Chair of the FMDA Board.
This contract builds on Hoeven’s previous efforts to advance comprehensive flood protection for the Red River Valley, which include:
- Increasing the federal funding commitment from $450 million to $750 million under the renegotiated Project Partnership Agreement (PPA).
- Advancing Fargo-Moorhead’s application for a $561 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan, which will serve as a low-cost, flexible funding source.
- Ensuring Fargo-Moorhead received a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR), stating that the region’s flood protection project meets the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- This represents an important step toward ensuring that more than 11,000 structures won’t be placed in the 100-year flood plain when the region is re-mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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