Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation criteria are the measures and metrics used to evaluate a range of alternatives that could meet the project’s Purpose and Need while identifying and considering potential social, economic, and environmental (SEE) impacts. Evaluation criteria can also be used to determine how well an alternative addresses the project’s goals.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), as joint lead agencies, are responsible for determining the methodology and level of detail for the evaluation of alternatives.

How are evaluation criteria used?

The evaluation criteria are first used to determined whether a range of alternatives address the project’s Purpose and Need. Alternatives that address the Purpose and Need would be considered for further evaluation. Those that do not address the Purpose and Need would be rejected as not being reasonable.

Alternatives that address the Purpose and Need are further evaluated to determine their impacts on social, economic, and environmental (SEE) resources within the project area. Alternatives that have unmitigable impacts are rejected. Alternatives with the potential for significant impacts may be rejected or revised to reduce potential impacts.

Alternatives will be further evaluated (after addressing purpose and need and SEE items) on how well they address project goals. Those that also address project goals may be viewed more favorably than those that do not. If you want to learn more about evaluation criteria, visit the project webpage.

Categories shown in italics will be evaluated only in the Tier 1 EIS Phase (not in Scoping Phase).

Primary needs

  • Infrastructure condition
  • Safety/crashes
  • Mobility

Secondary needs

  • Drainage capacity
  • Walkability/bikeability
  • Safety on Intersecting streets

Goals and Livability

  • Sense of place
  • Equity
  • Economics
  • Health and the environment
  • Connections

SEE impacts

  • Environmental justice
  • Historic/archaeological
  • Section 4(f) resources
  • Section 6(f) resources
  • Contaminated properties
  • Right of way
  • Water pollution/stormwater
  • Air quality
  • Noise
  • Threatened and endangered species
  • Wetlands
  • Floodplain
  • Flooding

Additional considerations

  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Consistency with regional plans