Flood Project Bids Continue Below Guesses

Minot, ND - The cost of the initial portions of the Mouse River flood control project is much lower than projected.
That was proven again today when more bids were opened.

Jim Olson reports the savings will help secure future phases of the massive project.

When bids were opened on Phases 2 and 3 of the billion-dollar flood control project, they reflected the trend set last Wednesday when Phase One bids were revealed.
The actual costs are well below estimates.

A quirk in the bidding last week means Phase One will be re-bid in a few weeks, but it's expected the cost will be very close to the 46 million dollar low bid received last week.
That's a 13 million dollar savings.

And the Phase 2 and 3 low bid of 35.7 million dollars is almost six million below engineering estimates.

Project engineer Ryan Ackerman says the savings will go into things like property acquisitions, accellerated work on rural areas of the project, and even providing options for the critical Phase 4.
That's the Maple Diversion which will tie together the first three phases and provide flood protection to about 60% of the city of Minot.

One cautionary note on Phase 4 - the US Army Corps of Engineers is considering participating - and that could mean 45 million dollars in federal funding, but that's years away from being decided.

Bottom line, the ball is rolling on getting Phases 1, 2, and 3 finished by the end of 2020.
But what comes after that - and when it might come - are still questions to be answered in the fight to protect the valley from future flooding.
Jim Olson, KX News.

Construction on the first phases of flood control in the city of Minot will start in the spring.

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