The Flood Diversion Board of Authority is moving forward with an intent to develop a project delivery method which will facilitate a shorter construction schedule for the Diversion Project, and at a lower cost than would be possible under standard delivery models.
Approved unanimously September 2, the Authority intends to deliver the Diversion Project using a P3 (or PPP) Split Delivery model. The majority of the Diversion Authority’s features will be delivered through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP or P3) project, whereas U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) intends to use traditional Design-Bid-Build (DBB) methods.
“It’s the surest route to federal dollars,” said Keith Berndt, Cass County Administrator. “The Authority gets schedule and cost certainty. It delivers the best value for the public’s money, provides performance guarantees and long-term warranties that otherwise would not be available, promotes delivery innovation, and shortens the schedule to achieve flood risk reduction sooner than we otherwise could.”
“We are ready for the PPP, and we have everything in place,” said Tim Mahoney, Fargo Mayor. “We are more than ready to go. We are happy to be the first PPP project in the United States. I think if we all work together, just like in a flood fight, we can all be successful.”
The portions that the Diversion Authority will implement are collectively referred to as the Diversion Channel and Associated Infrastructure Work Package (DCAI WP). The DCAI WP generally consists of:
- 30 miles of channel
- 2 aqueducts
- 2 river inlets
- Various local drainage inlets
- Channel outfall
- 4 railroad bridges
- 4 interstate highway bridges
- 10 county road bridges, as well as associated environmental mitigation and recreational features.
The portions of the Project that the USACE will implement through traditional methods are collectively referred to as the Southern Embankment and Associated Infrastructure (SEAI).
- The SEAI may include multiple and separate construction packages that are yet to be defined by USACE in cooperation with the Diversion Authority.
- The Diversion Authority and USACE are currently designing and constructing Mitigation and Associated Infrastructure Work Packages (MAI WP) that will not be part of the PPP and will be delivered through traditional DBB or DB methods.
The Diversion Authority intends to seek competitive PPP proposals through a fair and transparent procurement process, and enter into a single PPP Agreement with a PPP Developer for the design, build, finance, operation, and maintenance (DBFOM) of the DCAI WP. The PPP procurement will be handled and controlled exclusively by the Diversion Authority.
PPP Delivery Goals
The goals of the Diversion Authority in employing a PPP delivery approach include benefitting from:
- Cost and schedule certainty at the signing of the contract;
- Innovative design, construction, and financing that results in cost savings and schedule improvements; and
- Risk assignment, including long-term operation and maintenance by the PPP Developer.
It’s expected that the PPP Agreement will provide a high-quality product that will benefit the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area for generations.
Proposed Procurement Process
Prior to the start of the procurement process, the Diversion Authority intends to have one or more industry forums, which will be publicly advertised and open to interested parties. The Diversion Authority will provide updated information regarding the scope and the procurement schedule, and will be available for questions.
The Diversion Authority is going to undertake a fair and transparent procurement, leveraging industry best practice, which is expected to include a two phase procurement with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) phase followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP) phase.
Details on the Proposed Procurement Process, the Procurement Schedule, and Communication Protocols that interested parties should follow, are included here in the Notice of Intent (NOI) document.
The procurement of the PPP for the DCAI WP will begin upon publication of the official notice as required by the North Dakota Century Code, after authorization for publication of such notice by the Diversion Authority Board. The NOI does not commit the Diversion Authority to enter into an Agreement or to proceed with the procurement as described in the NOI document.
The Diversion Authority is anticipating successful resolution of the following three enabling outcomes before advancing the PPP procurement process beyond the NOI:
- Determination of Adequacy on the Minnesota Environmental Impact Statement (MnEIS) from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR);
- Lifting of the Preliminary Injunction issued by the US District Court for the District of Minnesota – Civil File No. 0:13-cv-02262-JRT-LIB; and
- Appropriation of federal funds and designation as a USACE new construction start.