MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has blocked construction work on a Red River flood control project in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim ruled Thursday the project needs to obtain the necessary permits from Minnesota before construction can proceed. Minnesota so far has rejected the permits.

The $2.2 billion proposal calls for a diversion channel to carry floodwaters around the Fargo area. The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority and Army Corps of Engineers want to proceed with work on the North Dakota side without waiting for Minnesota's approval.

Tunheim says there's no question that Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, need permanent flood protection. He urged the parties to work together to find common ground and serve the interests of both states and the affected communities.

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