Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

January 31, 2013

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Federal Highway Administration issues Finding of No Significant Impact for Winona Bridge Project


ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Federal Highway Administration has determined the proposed improvements for the Winona Bridge Project will have no significant impact to the human or natural environment, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced.

The FHWA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Winona Bridge Project on Thursday, Jan. 30, using information described in the Environmental Assessment and the Findings of Fact and Conclusion documents to make its determination.

The FONSI is based upon the EA, which was independently evaluated by the FHWA and determined to adequately discuss the need, environmental issues, and impacts of the proposed project and appropriate mitigation measures.

A significant amount of collaboration with MnDOT’s local partners and environmental resource agencies led to meeting the goal of receiving a FONSI by the end of January, said MnDOT District 6 Engineer Jeff Vlaminck.

“The FONSI for the Winona Bridge Project represents a significant milestone,” Vlaminck said. “This is important for MnDOT and our local project partners as it authorizes final design and construction of the new bridge along with preservation of the existing bridge to move forward, allowing the recommended project scope to become a reality.”

MnDOT Project Manager Terry Ward added, “The FONSI allows our project team to focus on Final Design and Environmental Permitting and should lead to us beginning construction yet this year.”

The FONSI and other related documents can be viewed at: www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/documents.html

In other project news, the FHWA and the State Historical Preservation Office finalized a Programmatic Agreement for the Section 106 requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act for the Winona Bridge project.

The agreement details how historical requirements for the project will be met during the final design and construction phases of the project. MnDOT and the city of Winona signed the agreement as invited parties and the Winona Heritage Preservation Commission signed as a concurring party.

The Winona Bridge Project is a full oversight project by the FHWA. The FHWA is the agency responsible for compliance with federal laws regarding the protection of historic resources (Section 106 and Section 4(f)) and cannot relinquish that authority to another agency.

The fully executed agreement can be viewed at:
www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/docs/ea/section-106-programmatic-agreement.PDF
For more information, visit the project website: www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/index.html or contact Terry Ward, MnDOT Project Manager at (507) 286-7688 or terry.ward@state.mn.us.

For statewide travel information visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.

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