Proposed noise walls
Federal regulations require state agencies to complete a noise analysis for projects of this nature to determine if noise walls are cost effective. Based on the conclusions of the noise study for this project it was determined that traffic noise levels exceed federal noise standards for numerous properties along Highway 61/63. As a result, MnDOT is required to construct the noise wall unless affected property owners and occupants vote to not construct the wall. If constructed, the noise wall would affect more than 40 properties.
MnDOT is now requesting the vote of those affected property owners and occupants to determine if the wall will be constructed. The results of the vote will determine if the noise wall is built. Ballots that are not submitted are counted as a vote in favor of constructing the noise wall.
The proposed 20 foot tall noise wall would be constructed along Highway 61/63 from the new buttonhook intersection south approximately 1300 feet to just past Arkin Street. The affected property owners and occupants received a notice in August with more information and a ballot for voting. An open house for those affected was held on August 19, 2015 to provide more information for those individuals. The affected property owners and occupants have until September 2, 2015 to submit their ballot for whether or not to construct the noise walls.
The ballots may be submitted by either of the following two methods:
- Mail it with the postage-paid envelope included with the ballot to Chad Hanson, Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901
- Email a scanned copy of the ballot to firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the proposed noise walls and voting process can be found here.
Animations of the Highway 61/63 corridor can be viewed below with and without the noise walls constructed.
MnDOT and WisDOT are nearing completion of the preliminary design and environmental review phase of the project. A preferred alternative for replacing the Highway 63 bridges over the Mississippi River and Highway 61, along with realigning the approach roadways in Minnesota and Wisconsin has been determined. The visual quality process is complete and detailed visualizations of two bridges and approach roadways have been developed. See the project animation on this page and the Design Documents tab at the link above to see the visualizations and the Visual Quality Manual for the project. Final design for the project is now beginning and will continue through the end of 2016. The project is still on track for construction to begin in 2017, which is anticipated to continue until the end of 2019.
- The Eisenhower Bridge is fracture critical, meaning that if one fracture critical member of the bridge were to fail, the entire bridge could collapse.
- The Hwy 63 Bridge over Hwy 61 is eligible for the National Register of Historic Place.
- Maintaining traffic on the crossing to the maximum extent possible is a key concern.
- More background information