MOORHEAD, Minn. • The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce said it is celebrating a momentous step in a more than a decade-long policy effort to secure permanent flood protection for the region.

On June 18, the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority Board selected Red River Alliance as the Public Private Partnership (P3) developer for the immense project.

The Chamber, according to information provided from the organization on Thursday, July 1, along with community organizations, residents, and policymakers, have advocated for critical flood protection for more than 10 years.

“This is an exciting time for the region,” said Chamber President and CEO Shannon Full. “The chamber has been a strong advocate of permanent flood protection for many years. This project will be a major asset to our business community providing growth opportunities through economic certainty.”

Though segments of construction are already underway, this developer selection signals the beginning of the more than six-year build process for the key piece of the project.

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The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority Board announced in June that Red River Alliance with its bid of nearly $935 million was selected as the P3 developer for the 30-mile diversion project, the first of its kind in the United States, according to the chamber.

Along with this announcement comes a $569 million federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan.

This WIFIA loan accompanies $435 million allocated in North Dakota’s 2021 Bonding Bill (HB 1431), which passed in the 67th North Dakota Legislature and was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum.

Vice President of Public Policy Katie Mastel credits the many local, state and federal officials on both sides of the river who have played a part, particularly naming the Diversion Authority Board, and the Chamber’s Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Task Force.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the critical collaboration of so many,” she said.