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News Release

June 8 , 2004

Highway 14 New Ulm to N. Mankato
Environmental Study to Begin

New Ulm to N. Mankato Map (622k pdf)

Mankato, Minn. - The Mankato (District 7) office of the Minnesota Department of Transportation will begin work on the Environmental Impact Statement for U.S. Highway 14 from New Ulm to North Mankato.

Last summer Mn/DOT completed a Corridor Management Plan and Scoping Document that identified the Highway 14 alignment alternatives to be studied in the EIS (see map above). The EIS consists of an in-depth study of traffic volumes, safety, route system and design continuity, community development and land use issues, property acquisition, costs, public comments and impacts to cultural resources, farmlands, wetlands, and other natural resources.

The study will take place over the next two years and will result in the selection of a final alignment and identification of the environmental impacts. No portion of the highway covered by the EIS has been identified for funding.

"Funding for construction of major projects is a dynamic process today. A completed Environmental Impact Statement will allow the communities and land owners along the corridor to plan for future development and Mn/DOT to prepare for future construction should money become available at either the state or federal level," said Jim Swanson, Transportation District Engineer.

Mn/DOT received special federal funding from the Transportation Appropriations bill last year to do the study. Mn/DOT recently awarded a contract to the Twin Cities consulting firm, CH2MHILL to complete the study. The lead consultant is Howard Preston, who worked with Mn/DOT on the Corridor Plan and scoping study.

The project termini are from the intersection of State Highway 15 at New Ulm to Nicollet County Road 6 just west of North Mankato. The scoping study determined that New Ulm is a major destination for Highway 14 traffic and a bypass of New Ulm is not needed.

Mn/DOT is also near the completion of an Environmental Assessment for extending the four-lane section of Highway 14 from Lookout Drive in North Mankato to Nicollet County Road 6. A public hearing for the Environmental Assessment is scheduled for Thursday, July 8 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the North Mankato Fire Station No. 2 on Howard Drive.

Mn/DOT's Project Manager is Peter Harff, who can be reached at 507-389-6877 or by e-mail at peter.harff@dot.state.mn.us . Interested individuals can find more information on the Highway 14 corridor at www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato .

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For statewide up-to-date traveler information, Minnesotans are now able to access weather-related road conditions, construction and congestion by dialing 511 or by logging on to www.511mn.org

District 7, Mankato/Windom
501 S. Victory Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001-5302
Tel: 800/657-3747
Fax: 507/389-6281

Contact:
Rebecca Arndt
Public Affairs Coordinator
507/389-6883