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Insight from the West Fargo PD: Monitoring diversion banks

With the majority of the spring flooding behind us, the West Fargo Police Department would like to take this time to explain some details about the West Fargo Diversion.

The construction of the West Fargo project was essentially completed in 1992 by the U.S. Army Core of Engineers.

Since its completion, the project has prevented damages in excess of $190 million. The total estimated cost of the diversion project was $29 million.

Each year property taxes for citizens of West Fargo go to help maintain the West Fargo diversion. With those price tags the West Fargo Police Department has been asked by the Southeast Cass Water Resource District Board to monitor the activity on the banks of the diversion. The West Fargo Police Department along with the Southeast Cass Water Resource District Board have recently noticed more activity on these banks and we would like to explain the ordinance that pertains to those who are on the diversion.

No motorized vehicle is allowed on the West Fargo city diversion. If found driving on the diversion, you may be cited or arrested based on West Fargo Ordinance, 13-0206. Driving On Flood Protected Works Prohibited.

Under this ordinance it states: Unless authorized by the authority in charge thereof, no person shall operate a motor vehicle, tractor, or other vehicle upon or across any flood protective works, including, but not limited to, any dike or flood protective works constructed by a state or federal agency, or by the city of West Fargo or local subdivision of the state.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and can be fined $1,000.

You may think that an ATV, dirt bike or even a snowmobile cannot create any damage to this sort of structure, but in all actuality it does quite a bit of damage.

When riding on the diversion, vehicles can cause erosion on the banks. The erosion that is taking place by nature should be enough of a concern for all residents of West Fargo let alone these sorts of extra activities that happen to be taking place. With all of the money that this structure saves, let’s work together in trying to stop the unauthorized driving upon it. This diversion is closely monitored by the Southeast Cass Water Resource Board. They have a board member who is a pilot and has an aircraft. He will routinely fly the diversion looking for problems that come up.

The diversion is walking only.

So, if you would like to see this structure and the safety it brings, just make sure you do so on foot. If you see anyone that is driving any sort of motorized vehicle on the diversion we ask that you contact the West Fargo Police Department at 433-5500.

Officer Pete Nielson, West Fargo Police Department