USACE Project Receives National Academy of Construction Award

The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project has been selected as the recipient of the National Academy of Construction (NAC) Recognition of Special Achievement Award.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), St. Paul District, and its partners, the cities of Fargo, North Dakota; Moorhead, Minnesota; and the Metro Flood Diversion Authority, are working cooperatively to implement this critical project.

According to NAC, the award highlights creativity, innovation, vision, and accomplishments of practitioners in the engineering, design and construction industries. From concept to construction, USACE and its partners consistently solved challenges on this complex project, to include splitting work between the entities to allow simultaneous design and construction, which expedites project completion by approximately 10 years when compared to traditional delivery methods. Additionally, as the first USACE project in the nation to leverage a public-private partnership delivery model, the St. Paul District, the Cities of Fargo and Moorhead, and the Metro Flood Diversion Authority are setting the example of how to deliver projects to the nation more efficiently in a resource-constrained environment. Dozens of consultants and construction firms have participated in the effort, showing the strength of the private commitment to the project.

“NAC is thrilled to select this project for our second annual Recognition of Special Achievement Award,” said Edd Gibson, NAC president and CEO. “What stood out to us when evaluating the project was the impact that it will have on both North Dakota and Minnesota, as it is truly a generational project that will help citizens of both states for decades to come. And it provides a good road map on how to innovatively address resilience and sustainability in a large civil infrastructure project. All involved are to be applauded for their dedication to improving the lives of those in this region.”

“Congratulations to our USACE teammates and our partners, the cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and the Metro Flood Diversion Authority for this well-deserved recognition,” said Lt. Gen. Scott A Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general. “In spearheading the Fargo-Moorhead Metro Area flood risk management project, the St. Paul District exemplified the kind of innovation and partnership that we strive for, as we work to protect communities and engineer solutions for the nation’s toughest challenges.”

The award will be presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the NAC annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 12.

The $3 billion federal project includes a 30-mile diversion channel with upstream staging and floodwater storage, as well as 21 bridges (18 highway, 3 railroad); 2 aqueduct structures; nearly 40 miles of levees and floodwalls; 3 large, gated control structures; 22 miles of dam embankment; 4 miles of Interstate-29 raise; and environmental and cultural mitigation and monitoring. This project will provide flood risk management for nearly 260,000 people and 70 square miles of infrastructure in the communities of Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, North Dakota; Horace, North Dakota; and Harwood, North Dakota, and will save the nation millions of dollars annually in flood fighting and potential flood damages.

This article is featured in the 2023-2024 edition of America’s Engineers: The People, Programs, and Projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


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