Sixty million dollars in federal funding has now been secured, which will allow for more construction that will ultimately protect about 60 percent of people in Minot who live in the Souris River Valley.

The money will fund Minot phase four (MI-4), the Maple Diversion portion.

It will be a bypass channel for high flow waters, with a levee on the end, should a flood event happen.

Ryan Ackerman, the administrator of the Souris River Joint Board, says this funding has been something the board has been working toward for seven years.

“It’s great news for the project,” he said. “It feels good to kind of have that announcement that the funding is going to be in place and now really it’s on us to deliver. It’s on us to complete the designs and the permitting process and the acquisitions and get construction underway. So, it’s another piece in the overall billion-dollar puzzle here.”

Ackerman says the design phase for the Maple Diversion channel and levees should wrap up by the end of this year, with construction beginning sometime next year.

He says he anticipates it will take about four years to complete, but even with this funding, there’s still about 35 percent of the overall flood protection project not yet financially secured.

The funding announcement came in a press release from Sen. John Hoeven’s office Wednesday morning.