Published Sept. 30, 2013
The Environmental Assessment (PDF 83 MB) for the Winona Bridge Project has been approved. The EA describes the proposed project, impacts, and mitigation. It includes documentation on the Section 106 findings regarding historic properties, as well as a Draft Programmatic Agreement which outlines the future design review process. The EA document also includes information on the Section 4(f) impacts and the preliminary de minimis finding, i.e., that adverse impacts to the recreational facility (Waterfront Trail) would not result from the proposed project. Any comments received regarding this issue during the public comment period will be taken by the Federal Highway Administration in making its final de minimis determination. More information about Section 4(f) and de minimis can be found below.
Section 4(f) de Minimis Explanation
This project would require a temporary detour of the Waterfront Trail during construction. This trail is on City-owned property. FHWA considers this a public recreational use facility and a Section 4(f) property.
The Section 4(f) use is subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49 U.S.C. 303) and 23 U.S.C.138. Section 4(f) of the Act defines procedures required for addressing impacts to recreational and other public lands that would result from federally-funded transportation projects. In addition, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Act of 2005, Section 6009, allows for determinations that certain uses of Section 4(f) land will have no adverse effect (de minimis) on the protected resource. Section 6009(a) requires that a public notice and opportunity for review and comment be provided for projects that are determined to have de minimis impact. In consultation with the City of Winona, the Minnesota Department of Transportation proposes a finding of de minimis impact to the paved trail. After an evaluation of the impacts of an action upon Section 4(f) resources, a finding can be made.
It is anticipated that the project would not impede activities nor adversely affect features or attributes of the trail. This taking is proposed as a Section 4(f) de minimis taking, such that adverse impacts to the trail would not result from the proposed project.