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Grand Forks Flood Protection Project Functional and Fun

Stanley Consultants worked with the cities of Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota to provide flood protection with an innovative recreational area built in.

The cities of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, are located at the confluence of the Red Lake River with the Red River of the North, on the border of Minnesota and North Dakota. This project provided flood protection for the cities using a system of levees and associated structural works while developing the riverfront into an attractive greenway area.  While  working  with  the demands of  protecting Grand Forks  from future flooding, the Stanley Consultants team designed several recreational amenities into the project such as incorporating the flood protection levee into an existing municipal golf course, multiple playground/picnic facilities, over 14 miles of walking and  biking  trails,  sledding  hills,  restroom  facilities,  and  interpretive signage. A key feature is a flood memorial. The memorial is an obelisk with all the great Red River floods indicated.

Stormwater drainage systems were greatly modified because of the flood protection project. Stormwater treatment basins were developed to treat the stormwater before it enters the Red River. These innovative features treat a majority of Grand Forks' stormwater.  Previously the runoff flowed directly to the Red River from nearly all parts of the city.

Stanley Consultants' responsibilities involved 12 separate reaches on the Grand Forks side of the Red River. The project included final design of 11.4 miles of levee, floodwall layout, and the design and preparation of plans and specifications for landscape and recreational features, pump stations, gated outlet structures, interior drainage features including storm sewers and drop inlets structures, roadway levee up-and-overs, and storm water detention ponds. Design included approximately eight miles of storm drainage pipe with diameters up to nine feet. Stanley Consultants also prepared Design Documentation Reports and the government's final cost estimate.

"During the design, Stanley Consultants took the initiative to evaluate the interior drainage and made recommendations resulting in savings of millions of dollars."

ACASS Rating - Exceptional