$2.75bn Fargo flood defence P3 contract awarded

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First Public-Private Partnership flood management project in North America.

More than 230,000 residents in and around Fargo in North Dakota, USA, are set to benefit from the first Public-Private Partnership (P3) flood management project in North America.

Red River Valley Alliance, a consortium of private companies, will now partner with the Metro Flood Diversion Authority (MFDA) through a private-public partnership worth an estimated €2.75bn to remove the threat of flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area in a one-in-one-hundred year flood, and provide resilience in the case of a one-in-five-hundred year flood.

The $2.75bn will be financed through federal, state, and local funding and brings together the private alliance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will continue their intensive work on the control structures, dam and the 20-mile southern embankment upstream from the Fargo-Moorhead metro area as the region works to prevent a repeat of severe flooding in 2009.

Mayor of Moorhead, Shelly Carlson, who also chairs the board of MFDA, said: “After intensive work on the upstream embankment components on the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we are excited to announce that we are ready to move to this next critical stage. Red River Valley Alliance will be responsible for designing, building, maintaining, operating and helping finance the construction.”

The project is expected to involve the construction of a 30-mile channel for redirecting water-flows and will included 19 highway bridges, four railroad bridges, two aqueducts and other support structures.

MFDA executive director, Joel Paulsen said: “After a detailed pre-qualification process with industry days in Fargo and New York and a rigorous proposal review, we are highly confident in our recommendation for our P3 Partner. We believe Red River Valley Alliance will be an excellent partner in this critical undertaking.”

The three lead engineers are Red River Valley Alliance Design JV, Hatch Associates Consultants Inc., and COWI North America Inc. The four lead contractors are Red River Constructors, Acciona Infraestructuras S.A., Shikun & Binui-America Inc., and North American Enterprises Ltd, while Amec Foster Wheeler and Wenck Associates Inc are two main subcontractors.