The city of Minot hopes to take some major steps toward enhanced flood protection next year.
But the city public works director says a schedule for finishing the protection project is overly-optimistic.
Dan Jonasson says he expects to put out a request for qualifications in December, looking for engineering firms that would like to bid on designing three major parts of the flood protection plan.
Engineering on the three portions is expected to be more than 6-and-a-half million dollars.
The job will be designing levees and flood walls along 4th Avenue Northeast and Railway Avenue where diking was built in 2011 to protect northeast parts of town, as well as areas from the Highway 83 Bypass east to the water plant, and from the water plant east to the Maple Diversion area in the middle of town.
Jonasson thinks the three projects are critical to getting a good start on enhanced flood protection for the city.
(Dan Jonasson, Minot Public Works Director) "These three projects, if we could get these done, it would, if we ever have to do a flood fight again, this is where a lot of effort was spent during the 2011 flood fight, especially on the Railway Avenue area to try to keep Broadway open."
Which means effort could be spent elsewhere to protect other parts of the city in a future flood fight before the entire project is built.
As for the timeline estimate released early this year, Jonasson thinks it will be hard to meet the schedule that was laid out.
(Dan Jonasson, Minot Public Works Director) "I don't see being able to follow that schedule, one, because of funding. There isn't enough funding there to be that aggressive on it. And, two, I think it's going to get into enough environmental issues when you start getting into the different phases that that's going to take some time just to go through that."
Jonasson says he hopes to have an engineering firm selected early next year to begin studying the first three phases of the project.
The State Water Commission is paying 60% of the 6-point-8 million dollars in estimated engineering expenses for the three phases.