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Fargo to start work on raising 2 levees

Graphic: Levee

FARGO -- Work on raising two large levees along the Red River just east of Fargo's Fourth Street South may start this fall, city officials said last week.

The Red River levees, which include Dike East/Dike West, protect the area south of the downtown to the current 100-year flood level.

However, they must be raised 1 to 2 feet and recertified to meet new federal standards, said Nathan Boerboom, a storm sewer utility engineer.

The cost is expected to be $110,000 to raise the levees between Second and 10th avenues south, Boerboom said. Bids will be presented to the City Commission Monday for approval, he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will raise the 100-year flood level to 39.3 feet in Fargo, Boerboom said. The city's levees are required to have three feet of freeboard above that. Fargo is raising the levees to provide 3.5 feet of freeboard, he said.

In most areas, the levees must be raised 1 foot to 1.5 feet, Boerboom said, though in spots, they may need to be raised 2 feet.

Boerboom said the city hopes to start work this fall "but with the weather, nothing is for sure."

He said the work will require widening the levees. If weather is good, it will take a month to complete, he said. If the ground freezes, it may have to be done next spring.

In other flood-related news, City Engineer Mark Bittner said work on turning two temporary levees built during this spring's record flooding into permanent levees is ongoing.

One of the levees is on the south edge of Mickelson Park east of Oak Street North at Eighth Avenue North, and the other is in South Acres, Bittner said.