More than $73-million of federal funding awarded to projects in Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:32 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Some homeowners in south Bismarck may no longer pay for flood insurance in a couple of years because of a new flood mitigation project.

This area in south Bismarck will see some upgrades with the help of a $50-million federal grant. That money will help build a lift station near Solheim Elementary, retention ponds near the airport and an upgrade to a flood control gate system.

“That is a manual system that FEMA was going to discredit, and the water would back up into low-lying areas in south Bismarck,” said Todd Joersz, state hazard mitigation officer.

This drainage ditch is a key factor in flood mitigation. The new gate system will trap more water and the lift station will pump it out before it spills over.

“The area that is really impacted isn’t the neighborhood right here. This neighborhood is a little higher. The area that is really impacted is about a mile and a half east of here,” said Apex Principal Engineer Mike Berg.

The big goal of this project is to get these homes out of the 100-year flood plain and cut the cost for homeowners who are paying for mandatory flood insurance.

“So what we’re trying to do is prevent those water backups to prevent damages. It is going to make the city a lot more resilient. I believe it is going to protect 26-, 27-thousand people from having potential water damage in their properties,” said Joersz.

This levee system on the Heart River in Mandan will also be upgraded. $13.8 million in federal grants were awarded to help stop potential flooding.

“It’s to protect against flooding on the Heart River and that flooding from impacting south Mandan that’s in the lower river valley portion,” said Berg.

FEMA will award the money at the end of the year and construction is expected to begin in 2025.

“We haven’t had very good success with competitive projects lately, or the last three or four years. So when we got this project we were very very excited. It’s really going to help out the city of Bismarck,” said Joersz.

The south Bismarck project will cost $78 million in total, and the Lower Heart River project will cost $23 million.

The city of Lincoln also received $7.8 million to upgrade its wastewater systems. The Lincoln project will eliminate the city’s lagoon system and create a regional operation with the city of Bismarck.

The upgrade will help protect the wastewater system during severe weather. The total cost of the upgrades is estimated to be $10.5 million. Lincoln City Council members say this money and the project will help the city grow.

“Our lagoon system is at capacity right now. We have currently fixed all of our potable water situation and now this is going to financially help our city tremendously with the wastewater system,” said Carrie Praska, Lincoln City Council member.

The city of Fessenden also received $3 million in federal funding to upgrade its wastewater lagoon system.