MI-5 Northeast Tieback Levee Project to Start Construction in 2022

-- UPDATE --

December 30, 2021

The Souris River Joint Board (SRJB) held a public information meeting to present the final designed plans for the Phase MI-5 Northeast Tieback Levee, a flood protection project within Minot that is part of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan (MREFPP). Plans and specifications are complete and bidding on this phase of the MREFPP plan will happen in January with a mid-February 2022 bid opening.

This phase starts on the east end of the Phase MI-1 Fourth Avenue project by Third Street NE and continues to the east, tying back to high ground east of 13th Street NE. Phase MI-5 includes earthen levees, arterial road changes, a dry storm water pond, floodwalls, a city greenway feature, and a storm water pump station.

The Phase MI-5 NE Tieback Levee segment of the project begins near 3rd street NE (the eastern end of Phase MI-1) and runs east along the north property line of BNSF Railway’s existing yard before tying into high ground east of 13th street NE. The project features of this system include concrete floodwalls, earthen levees, arterial roadway changes, a storm water pump station, as well as a dry storm water pond. The concrete floodwalls will be similar height to the Phase MI-1 floodwalls, extending approximately 13 feet above the finished grade. Areas south of BNSF Railway’s existing yard will be seeded after roadways are removed and will become a natural green space. 

When completed and connected to the first four phases of the MREFPP, the MI-5 phase will help remove approximately 60 percent of Minot residents from the proposed FEMA floodplain and, most importantly, provide long-term flood protection to the record flood of 2011. All the enhanced flood protection projects currently under construction, and those under design provide a level of protection equal to the 2011 flood, plus three feet of freeboard.

Phase MI-5 NE Tieback Levee

urban flood control

In April 2018, the Minot City Council approved a preliminary alignment for Phase MI-5 which minimized the impact to private property however would cross BNSF rail lines with temporary closures during a flood event. After coordinating with BNSF, the preliminary alignment was modified to address BNSF requirements. In areas where the closure structures were proposed, BNSF would instead require the rail line be raised, which included reconstructing existing rail bridges, raising the Third Street bridge and raising approximately 18,000 feet of track, as well as reconstructing new rail bridges over the Mouse river for the BNSF mainlines. These requirements escalated the estimated project costs to roughly $129 million. These changes resulted in a project that was not economically feasible.

In mid- to late-2019, the Souris River Joint Board directed the design team to redesign the project and bring back a new concept that would reduce the impact to the railroad and reduce the cost of the alignment. A current technically proposed alignment now proposes putting more flood protection features north of the BNSF rail line, on top of a portion of the existing Railway Avenue footprint. This alignment, as it is proposed now, may require the acquisition of approximately 15 homes and 7 businesses. The total project cost estimate of this alignment is $75 million.  

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A Public Input Meeting was held on February 10, 2020 to talk about the redesigned Phase MI-5 Northeast Tieback Levee. The formal presentation is available below the map. If you have any questions about the meeting or the current design of the project, please contact Odney at 701-857-7205, and ask for Brekka.

Phase MI-5 is currently at the 90% design level.

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