Location: Fargo, ND
Owner: Metro Flood Diversion Authority
Construction Company: ASN Constructors (S&B USA Construction is a lead JV partner)
Project Status: Under construction since August of 2022
This diversion channel project will play an important role minimizing flooding and flood repair costs, and it hopes to eliminate the need for flood insurance for businesses and residents located in the Fargo-Moorhead area. This project represents the first United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) P3, and it is also one of the first large-scale ESG-focused P3 transactions in the US. The $1.2 billion CAPEX project includes the design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation of the proposed 30-mile diversion channel and associated infrastructure that will protect the Fargo-Moorhead metro area during times of extreme flooding. The project includes the construction of access and maintenance roads, flood control structures, four interstate bridges, twelve local/county road bridges, three railroad bridges, a building for the Metro Flood Diversion Authority, and more than 100 relocations or utility removals.
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Construction has begun on the channel, where crews work day and night to keep the project moving forward on schedule.
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The proposed structure is designed to withstand a 100-year flood and will provide resiliency in the event of a 500-year flood. Once finished, it is anticipated to safeguard more than 235,000 people and 70 square miles of current infrastructure against flooding.

Financing

S&B USA Concessions, as part of the Red River Valley Alliance (RRVA) for which S&B has a 42.5% interest, employed a tailored approach to meet the funding needs of the project, which was worth just over $1 billion. The financing plan consists of 58 milestone payments on a senior bank loan and taxable municipal bonds that will be fully repaid by the end of construction plus taxable municipal bonds and tax-exempt PABs that will be repaid during the operating period. 

This project is both the first large-scale flood protection resiliency P3 and the first “green financing framework” for a P3 project in the US.

The Fargo Flood Diversion Channel has already received numerous awards from the P3 industry, including America’s P3 deal of the year, North America water deal of the year, public sector promoter/procurer of the year, best financial structure, and legal advisor of the year. The project was also short listed for best utilities project of the year.


 

“S&B Concessions is one of our valued partners on the Fargo-Moorhead Stormwater Diversion Channel and Associated Infrastructure project. Throughout the procurement and through its delivery we have always valued the insight and commitment of the S&B team, who continue to provide creative solutions in delivering this Project in partnership with the Authority and the USACE. In particular, I would like to highlight the innovation the team orchestrated on the financing solution for the Project. Our Project was approved under Green Bond and Green Loan Principles allowing investors to recognize this Project as one of the first large-scale ESG focused P3 transactions in the US related to flood resilience. Additionally, I have had the pleasure to collaborate with the SBC team to showcase this resiliency project to numerous other government and public clients in the hopes of progressing P3 procurement for other projects. S&B is truly on the forefront of P3 financing, construction and delivery of projects of this nature.”
– Joel Paulsen Executive Director of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Flood Diversion Project

Construction

This large-scale project will include the development and construction of multiple access and maintenance roads, several flood control structures, four interstate bridges, twelve local/county road bridges, three railroad bridges, a building for the Metro Flood Diversion Authority, and over 100 utility relocations or removals.

Operations & Maintenance

S&B USA Concessions, as a part of RRVA, will be self-performing the operation and maintenance of the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Channel. In order to operate the channel, S&B USA Concessions, as a part of RRVA, will provide services to measure the flow and level of the water, observe the Maple and Sheyenne aqueducts, install security fences, and inspect and monitor the channel 24/7 during flood events.

S&B USA Concessions, as a part of RRVA, will also provide the following maintenance features: flood control elements (such as diversion channel, LFC, aqueducts and others), non-flood control elements (such as EMBs, access & security, and roads bridges), and monthly inspections/reports on all of the assets built within the right-of-way.