El Zagal floodwall, Fargo, North Dakota, USA

The city of Fargo is situated on the Red River, which often flooded existing flood protection systems and roads in the winter months. Climate change and resultant changes to flood protection targets made it necessary to upgrade all dikes and secure the road crossings.

The main challenge for us was that this was our first project ever in the USA. So before we could enter the market we first had to convince the United States Corps of Army Engineers (USCAE) of the advantages of our system. Next we needed a license from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and acceptance under the Buy American Act. The whole process took around nine months, after which we could start work on implementation.

The road crossings are now protected by demountable barriers produced by us. In El Zagal a roughly 20 meter long, 1.5 meter high demountable barrier is operated in the event of flood alerts. The whole system was made in Germany and shipped in containers to Chicago, where it was handed over to our customer.