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New Rockford school project approved

Diversion funding on the way

Without fanfare, North Dakota’s senators announced last week that yet another installment of funding for the Fargo-Moorhead diversion has been released to the Corps of Engineers. The new $6.3 million from already appropriated money will help complete 2014’s design and planning for the project.

The $6.3 million brings total funding thus far to $40 million. The construction phase is awaiting congressional approval.

The funding announcement confirms the massive flood protection project remains on track. It’s been vetted, analyzed, criticized and parsed for the past few years, and at every turn, sound science and engineering expertise have confirmed the diversion is the only cost-effective way to protect the 200,000 residents of the F-M metro and environs from a cataclysmic flood. And by that, project supporters mean “the big one” — the high-water event that levees and water retention cannot hold back. According to every credible study, only a diversion will have the capacity to manage such a flood.

As designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and administered by the multi-jurisdictional Diversion Authority, the diversion plan has cleared every hurdle, some of them quite high. Federal agencies charged with assessing water projects consistently have given the diversion high marks. It’s a good project not only because local advocates know it is, but also because federal funders and designers say it is.

The latest release of funding will keep the project percolating along.