FM Diversion – Fargo Moorhead Area Diversion Project

About the Project

What is the FM Area Diversion Project?

100-year Protection for 235,000+ people

The FM Area Diversion Project will protect and improve the lives of residents in the Fargo and Moorhead metro area. The Project:

  • Provides protection to 95,000 households and an estimated 140,000 jobs
  • Makes fighting a 500-year flood event possible
  • Provide an opportunity to remove flood insurance requirements for many that result in costly premiums leaving the community
  • Preventing $10+ Billion in flood damages

Project Components

There are three main components to project construction.

  • In-town Flood Protection
  • Diversion Channel
  • Southern Embankment including control structures and the temporary staging of floodwaters upstream

How is it paid for?

The total cost of the project is $2.2 Billion (2015$).

  • Federal – $450M
    • Amount has been approved through the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • North Dakota – $570M
    • To date, North Dakota has appropriated $304M
  • Minnesota – $43M (to be requested)
  • Local – $1.1B
    • Voters have approved three half-cent sales taxes to be extended through 2084 to cover the local share.

The Diversion Authority continues to look for efficiencies and is planning to hold an additional “Value Engineering” workshop to explore where there may be cost-saving opportunities. Cost saving opportunities could involve tweaking preliminary designs of certain project features, while still maintaining the overall functionality of the federally authorized Project.

A Split Delivery model would deliver the majority of the Diversion Project’s features through a Public-Private Partnership (P3) project, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to use traditional design-bid-build method. The P3 model will deliver the best value for the public’s money, provide performance guarantees and long-term warranties that otherwise would not be available, promote delivery innovation, and shorten the schedule to achieve flood risk reduction sooner than could be achieved otherwise.

Funding overview

  • Local Funding
  • State of ND Funding
  • State of MN Funding
  • Federal Funding

Why is the FM Area Diversion Project needed?


This description of the Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Area Diversion Project focuses on the recommended Federal plan (also known as the Locally Preferred Plan). For full details, read the Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement, July 2011. (Large download)