The Burleigh County Water Resource District is in the process of obtaining easements, and preparing to enter the final design stage, on its $3.92 million Fox Island flood protection project.
Driven by the 2011 Missouri River flooding, the project, which was approved in 2016 by 80 percent of the 91 property owners who voted, will involve raising a section of road in the southwest Bismarck subdivision, and adding a levee to safeguard against a 20-foot flood.
The BCWRD has obtained 11 of the 29 temporary construction easements, which will allow for the leveling of residents' existing driveways due to a one- to two-foot grade raise on that section of road.
"There's going to be a bump in their driveway and if they'd like it fixed, we need a temporary easement to fix it," said Commissioner Kathleen Jones, at Monday night's Burleigh County Commission meeting. "If they don't want it fixed, they're going to have a bump in their driveway."
According to BCWRD board member James Landenberger, the project can be completed without obtaining the temporary construction easements, as the right-of-ways are deeded to the public use.
Driveways will meet existing or better slopes by the project's completion, if a temporary construction easement is granted, Landenberger said.
The BCWRD also has one permanent easement to obtain. The project will be reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the state engineer, before it's finalized and bid out.
Approximately 22 property owners in the area of Gallatin Loop oppose the project, as their homes will be located on the outside of the soon-to-be-constructed levee.
According to the BCWRD, the 22 property owners signed a petition July 31, 2012, opting out of the flood protection project.
"I didn't opt out of flood control. My whole backyard would've been a levee. I voted against that option, then later found out we were out of the whole thing," said resident Tim Clausnitzer, during a recent county commission meeting.
The Legislature committed $2.8 million toward the project's completion, and the county commission will provide $920,000 in yearly installments. Fox Island residents with property located inside the levee will pay the balance.