Red River Floodway

The first floodway was built from 1962 to 1968 and cost $63 million. At this time, the building of the floodway was the second largest earth moving project in the world. The first being the Panama Canal. Since 1968, this floodway has prevented more than $40 billion dollars (2011 dollars) in damage.

How the Floodway Works:

When the floodway gates are raised, the water levels south of the floodway are restored to their  natural level. When it is raised, it allows more water to spill into the floodway. As the Red River rises, so do the gates allowing water to flow into the channels.

When the water of the Red River gets too high, it spills over the floodway entrance and flows down the channel. The water runs through two routes – through the city and through the floodway. The gates can be viewed coming up to Turnbull Drive on the West side of the Red River or St. Mary’s Road on the east side.