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Diversion Authority seeks to restart Oxbow ring dike work

Earth moving equipment is busy south of Oxbow and Hickson constructing a ring dike as seen August 1, 2014. Forum file photo

FARGO – The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority will ask a federal judge to partially lift an injunction on construction of the flood diversion to allow more work on the ring dike in Oxbow, N.D., and flood protection near downtown Fargo, the authority said Friday, April 20.

Oxbow would be on the wet side of a dam designed to control the flow of floodwater into the diversion channel, though authority officials have said a ring dike is needed even without the dam.

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim sided with opponents of the project, including Minnesota regulators, who say the ring dike is part of the diversion project and allowing it to be built would create too much momentum for the project while it’s being challenged in court.

But now the authority is working with regulators to get a dam permit and, according to the authority, regulators don’t object to completion of the ring dike.

The judge previously allowed some work on the most vulnerable areas around Oxbow and the authority is asking to continue that work. This would still leave a gap in the ring dike, but in an area that’s less critical.

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