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Downtown Floodwall Design Enhances and Protects

Catastrophic flooding of the Red River would have dire consequences for the surrounding area. The Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Area Diversion Project, underway this summer, is intended to not only prevent such a disaster, but to add a valuable community amenity in the process.

“The floodwall project presents an opportunity for the City of Fargo to create a new signature streetscape, while also restoring and expanding the existing riverfront park,” stated SRF Landscape Architect Nikki Schlepp, who designed the floodwall aesthetics, “The design is a key element in the City of Fargo’s civic placemaking effort to create a stronger connection between the Red River and downtown, and to draw people from downtown to the riverfront.”

The floodwall design, praised by community members as “visionary,” will not only offer residents flood protection, but will have an attractive, park-like streetscape to walk, bike, and drive through.  Openings in the floodwall frame key sightlines and will welcome residents into a revitalized riverside park and greenway trail system.

SRF is a member of the Houston Moore Group, retained by the FM Area Diversion Diversion Authority to assist with the planning and design of this critical project. SRF is responsible for providing recreation planning and design, traffic engineering, and real estate services.

According to the FM Area Diversion Authority, a 500-year event could flood all of Fargo and the majority of Moorhead. The Red River has surpassed flood stage 17 out of the past 20 years, and annual damages related to flooding are estimated at nearly $195 million. The FM Area Diversion Authority asserts this diversion effort will protect one in five of all North Dakotans.