- Work is progressing, according to Construction Equipment Guide, on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' first public-private partnership (P3), the $2.8 billion Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project, which is being built in Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota. The non-federal partners in the P3 are the cities of Fargo and Moorhead as well as the Metro Diversion Authority.
- The Army Corps awarded Ames Construction of Burnsville, Minnesota, a $46 million contract in 2016 to complete the diversion inlet control structure portion of the project beginning in 2017, but work was halted by court order for lack of a Minnesota permit. In April 2019, after a Minnesota-North Dakota task force came up with a solution that satisfied Minnesota permitting, the injunction was modified to allow construction to move forward. Ames' work includes construction of a concrete control structure with three gates that will regulate flows into a diversion channel.
- The federal government's financial commitment to the project is capped at $750 million plus inflation, and, according to a report from Icons of Infrastructure, the revisions necessary to secure a permit from Minnesota will likely increase the share that local and state governments must contribute.
Flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead area causes about $238 million of damage each year, and a 500-year flood event would likely flood almost all of Fargo, a large portion of Moorhead and surrounding communities. Six of the area's top 10 floods have occurred in the last 30 years.
Before work was halted, project officials published a shortlist of potential partners for the P3 portion of the project, which includes the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a 20,000-cubic-foot diversion channel and associated infrastructure. They are:
- Lake Agassiz Partners (Meridiam/Walsh/AECOM)
- Red River Valley Partners (Fluor/Plenary/Ames/Barnard)
- Red River Valley Alliance (Acciona/InfraRed/North American Enterprises/Shikun&Binui)
- Red River Partners (Graham/Parsons/Alberici/BBGI)
The Army Corps has not indicated how it will re-engage with these groups after the fairly lengthy stop of construction.
The Army Corps is also using the P3 model as part of the Revolutionize USACE Civil Works Program, which is intended to streamline delivery of large projects. The four projects in the pilot program will first go through a development phase that is meant to ensure that each is suitable for a P3. They include:
- Brazos Island Harbor Channel Improvement at the Port of Brownsville in Brownsville, Texas ($2.8 billion)
- Los Angeles River P3 ecosystem restoration ($1.4 billion)
- New Soo Lock at St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan ($922.4 million)
- Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay (S2G) Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) project off the coast of Texas ($3.9 billion)