MnDOT and WisDOT are nearing completion of the preliminary design and environmental review phase of the project. A preferred alternative for replacing the Hwy 63 bridges over the Mississippi River and Hwy 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 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.
Noise wall voting results
The majority of the voting points received were in opposition to the wall. As a result, noise walls will not be constructed.
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 Hwy 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 have affected more than 40 properties.
MnDOT requested the vote of those affected property owners and occupants to determine if the wall will be constructed. The results of the vote determined that the noise wall will not be built. Ballots that were not submitted were counted as a vote in favor of constructing the noise wall.
The proposed 20 foot tall noise wall would be constructed along Hwy 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 had until September 2, 2015 to submit their ballots for whether or not to construct the noise walls.
More information about the proposed noise walls and voting process can be found here. Animations of the Hwy 61/63 corridor can be viewed below with and without the noise walls constructed.