An awing engineering accomplishment. The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project has been selected to receive the National Academy of Construction’sSpecial Achievement Award. Image: Shannon Bauer

$3 billion Army Corps wins engineering citation

FARGO, N.D. — A huge project to prevent periodic floods that have caused catastrophic destruction on the Minnesota-North Dakota border for years has won a special achievement award from the National Academy of Construction. The $3 billion project can divert the Red River before populated areas on the border are inundated The project includes a 30-mile diversion channel with upstream staging and flood water storage as well as 21 highway and railroad bridges, two  \aqueduct structures, 40 miles of levees and floodwalls, three  large, gated control structures, 22 miles of dam embankment, and four miles of elevation of Interstate 29, and environmental and cultural adjustment along the stand-by flood routes. This project will provide flood risk management for 260,000 people and 70 square miles around Fargo-Moorhead and head off flooding 80 miles north to Grand Forks and beyond into Canada. The National Academy of Construction cited creativity, innovation and vision — and accomplishments in engineering, design and construction in a resource-constrained environment. The project was headed the Army Corps of Engineers. The Academy called it “truly a generational project.” The award will be presented to the Army Corps on October 12 at the Academy’s annual meeting in Boston.

Problematic river. Because the Red River flows north, downriver ice backs up the flow every spring from thawing southern regions. The river, the squiggly lines on the map through Fargo-Moorhead, which periodically floods, as so downstream northern cities like Grand Forks, 80 miles away, and points father nrth. On the map the diversion project, the bolder line, is designed to sweep flood waters around the metropolitan area through dans that open into a series of aqueduct  and rural drains and basics. How massive was the project. Think Grand Coulee and other dams in the Pacific Northwest in the 1930s.