Leaders gather at floodwall to cut ribbon | News, Sports, Jobs

Jill Schramm/MDN David Ashley, chair of the Souris River Joint Board, prepares to cut the ribbon on the MI-1 phase of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project Friday near the Broadway and Fourth Avenue Northwest intersection. From left are Minot City Council member Stephan Podrygula, Mayor Shaun Sipma, Sen. John Hoeven, Gov. Doug Burgum, Ashley, Chamber Ambassador Keli Rosselli-Sullivan and Andrea Travnicek, director of the ND Department of Water Resources.

State and local leaders gathered Friday at Minot’s Fourth Avenue floodwall to celebrate the completion of another phase of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project.

“The magic of Minot is the people. And that’s what we’re seeing with this project once again – and not just Minot but the whole region coming together,” Sen. John Hoeven, RN.D., said. “It’s just the way this community and this area is.”

The Phase MI-1 Fourth Avenue project includes more than 2,250 feet of floodwall between just west of Broadway and just east of Third Street Northeast. It includes earthen levees on both sides of the site where the Broadway Bridge connects on the north side of the river and two removable closure structures in the flood wall. The project features the Broadway Pump Station, a storm water pump station at the corner of Broadway and Fourth Avenue Northwest that is capable of pumping 180,000 gallons of water a minute, which would drain an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than five minutes.

Col. Kevin Wilson, deputy district engineer with the St. Andrews Paul District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, said he’s seen many civil works projects of the Corps, and Minot’s stands out.

“The work that’s being done here in Minot, the work that’s being done by the Souris River Joint Board, it’s really amazing. You don’t see that everywhere, and it takes grit to do that sort of work. It takes a lot of perseverance and it takes a lot of leadership. And the fact that the state is standing there shoulder to shoulder with them, that’s really incredible. That goes a long ways to serve the residents within the area of ​​Minot and the surrounding community,” Wilson said. “Even though we have a small section of this huge project that you’re doing, we’re really excited to be part of the partnership here.”

“It really does take a partnership to get through some of these large projects like this,” said Minot native Andrea Travnicek, director of the state Department of Water Resources.

She recalled being in Minot with then Gov. Jack Dalrymple at the time the evacuation sirens sounded and the levee breached. She remembers checking on her parents’ progress in relocating from their home that eventually flooded.

“I will always remember that stress, that uncertainty that everybody was feeling that day,” she said. “To be able to have this type of permanent flood protection coming into the Mouse River area, the city of Minot, it’s a really big accomplishment.”

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