Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 371 Project study

Four lane expansion Nisswa to Pine River

Understanding the study process

Below explains the process documentation and terminology of a highway project study.


When a project is first proposed, MnDOT announces it with a notice in the Federal Register, local media, and letters to citizens and groups that it knows are likely to be interested. Citizens and groups are welcome to send in comments to help the agency identify the issues it must address in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Draft EIS

Based on both MnDOT's expertise, and issues raised by the public a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is prepared with a full description of the affected environment, a reasonable range of alternatives, and an analysis of the impacts of each alternative. The public is then provided a second opportunity to provide comments.

Final EIS

Based on the comments on the Draft EIS, MnDOT writes a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and announces its proposed action, including the preferred alternative.

Record of Decision

Once all the protests are resolved the Federal Highway Administration issues which is the final step prior to implementation.

Record of Adequacy

Is the final environmental decision in the state environmental review program. It concludes the states process, and allows a major project to proceed to detail design, right of way acquisition, letting and construction.

Supplemental Final EIS

Intended to address the changes to the document since the Record of Decision was released.

Municipal Consent

Municipal approval is required for trunk highway projects within municipalities, as outlined in Minnesota's Municipal Consent Law (Minnesota Statutes 161.162 – 161.167), when they:

  • alter access
  • increase or reduce traffic capacity
  • require acquisition of permanent right-of-way

In accordance with the Municipal Consent Law, the municipalities are responsible for conducting public hearings within 60 days of receipt of the final layout, after which they have 90 days to consider approval of the project layout.