ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it’s moving ahead with a planned flood diversion project to protect the Fargo-Moorhead area, even though Minnesota denied a key permit for the project.

The Corps said in a statement Wednesday it anticipates awarding its first contract for the project this month. It’ll be for building a diversion inlet in North Dakota. No construction is planned in Minnesota until 2019.

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The Corps says it’s committed to working with Minnesota to address its concerns and completing the project.

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But the St. Paul district commander, Col. Sam Calkins, says relying on emergency measures such as sandbagging, as Minnesota regulators advocate, is not a long-term solution. He says the potential loss of life and economic losses that would result if emergency measures fail are not acceptable.

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