open house summary 101027 web by G98gIP


									                                                                       SRF No. 0096802

                     October 27, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

                                Winona Bridge Project
Meeting Purpose

The purpose of the meeting was to share updates on project progress and receive
stakeholder input on the options under study. Stakeholders were specifically asked
whether additional alternatives should be studied and what questions should be answered
before the alternatives evaluation process. The next step of the project will include
presenting an alternatives analysis and information about the potential impacts of each
alignment. Stakeholders will be asked to comment on the preferred alternative selection
at that time.

Notice of Public Information Meeting

Press releases announcing the Public Information Meeting were distributed to press
contacts by Mn/DOT staff. Additionally, an email notice was sent to Project Advisory
Committee and Technical Advisory Committee members.


The following agencies had representatives at the meeting to explain the project and
answer questions:

Mn/DOT:        Jai Kalsy                        SRF Consulting:     Rick Brown
               Dave Hall                                            Beth Bartz
               Nancy Daubenberger                                   Dave Nelson
               Greg Paulson                                         Pat Corkle
               Garneth Peterson                                     Kelcie Young
               Kristin Kammueller

An attendance record sheet was prominently displayed on a table at the front door and all
persons entering were asked to sign in for the record. A total of 62 people signed in.

Summary of Open House

A Public Information Open House for the Winona Bridge project was held on
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the gym at Winona Middle
School, Winona, Minnesota. The meeting was an informal open house with a short
introduction at about 6:30 p.m. Attendees viewed informational exhibits and engaged in
one-on-one discussions with the project staff. A copy of the boards that were displayed is
attached (boards shown at the meeting were 36 by 48 inches in size).

Summary of Public Meeting 2                 1                           October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project
Comment forms were made available to meeting attendees. Meeting attendees were
encouraged to submit comments either directly at the meeting in a comment box, or by
mail. Contact information for project staff was provided on the comment form. The web
address for the website and Jai Kalsy’s contact information were distributed on a contact
card. The comment form was posted to the website, and a web-based comment form was
also posted. Copies of the contact card and comment form are attached.

Written Comments

Five comments were received at the night of the Public Meeting and 13 comments were
received after the meeting. 14 commenters identified themselves as Winona residents,
seven as Winona business owners, two as Wisconsin residents, two as Wisconsin
business owners, and two as “other.” The 18 comment forms are attached to this

An online comment form was provided on the public website, and comments were
accepted through November 12, 2010. A total of 29 responses between the three
questions were received. 16 responders provided geographical information: 11 indicated
they are Winona residents, and five indicated they are Winona business owners.

Summary of Comments

Alternative Concepts: Are there any other alternatives that should be considered?

Please note: a number of commenters expressed opinions regarding alternative
preferences, although this was not the intent of the question. At the next meeting,
detailed analysis for each of the alternatives will be presented, and you will be asked
to provide input regarding the preferred alternative selection.

      Huff Street Curved is a good option but consider prohibiting left turns and only
       allowing right turns onto and off of the bridge. Must provide easy on and off for
       truck traffic to Riverview Drive and Highway 61.
      Explore series of right turns (three rights) instead of left turn to get traffic to the
       east toward downtown.
      Bridge should come down on Riverview Drive with an exit to Huff Street to take
       drivers to downtown. Traffic not destined for Winona would have an overpass for
       CP Rail and road already finished past that to four lanes. Huff Street should be
      Put the bridge on Main Street and connect it through Latsch Island.
      Feels Huff Street is the best choice.
      Only consider the four-lane Huff Street alternative. There is no historic value in
       the existing bridge. It is questionable whether the existing bridge can last 75 or 25
       years. Use the existing structure while the new bridge is under construction.
      Bridge traffic should be routed as close to downtown Winona as possible.

Summary of Public Meeting 2                  2                             October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project
      Winona needs a separate lane exiting onto Riverview Drive. If possible, trucks
       that go to the barges on Riverview Drive do not need to be brought into town and
       then routed back to Riverview Drive. The two lanes coming into Winona is good,
       just add a turn lane directly onto Riverview Drive.
      Ensure a connection from bridge to Riverview Drive via Huff Street and use that
       as a truck route to Highway 61.
      Prohibit parking on Fourth Street between Winona Street and Huff Street to allow
       space for trucks turning.
      Avoid routing Highway 43 through town and avoid the Winona State University
      Consider an alternative that doesn’t assume future traffic needs will require four
       lanes plus shoulders (effectively six lanes).
      Ramp the truck traffic to Riverview Drive. Pelzer is the best option regardless of
      Suggest you consider any of the Huff Street alignments, particularly the Huff
       Street-straight option.
      The Winona Street east alignment will have fewer impacts.
      Mark the two lanes coming from Wisconsin so the right lane exits directly to
       Riverview Drive without stopping and the left lane exits onto Huff Street.
      There should be an access road from Riverview Drive passing under the bridge
       and rising to merge into the right lane of the bridge to carry traffic to Wisconsin.
      Consider a reversible lane concept. It seems wasteful to build a new four-lane
       bridge that is only necessary a few hours of the day for only part of the week.
       Addressing the touchdown intersection traffic flow would solve a lot of the
      How can we assume traffic patterns into the future when it seems very likely our
       transportation choices will have to change due to decreasing oil supply? Waiting
       should be considered an alternative to a large bridge project.
      A curved bridge ending on Riverview Drive is the best solution to all the
       problems caused by the new bridge. I understand it also introduces new
       engineering and cost problems, but Winona will have to live with this bridge for
       100 years. If a curved bridge is not an option, at least try to connect the bridge to
       Riverview Drive via the Fourth Street option.
      Please revisit the Mankato Avenue option. Although the Fish and Wildlife Service
       owns the land, it’s well worth exploring further. Have we researched the
       environmental impacts and how they could be mitigated by offsetting elsewhere
       or with eco-friendly construction? Mankato is already a wider street with an easier
       truck route connection. This option would avoid impacts to the downtown and
       historic buildings (compared to Huff Street option). The existing bridge could
       continue to provide the connection to Latsch Island.
      Huff Street makes the most sense.

Alternatives Evaluation: What other questions should be answered before the next
open house?

Summary of Public Meeting 2                 3                             October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project
      How are you deciding where the bridge will go? Money? Public interest? If a new
       four-lane bridge were constructed at Winona Street, would we be without a bridge
       for months? Years?
      Study traffic control options at touchdown intersection.
      Consider noise issues for nearby residents.
      Study traffic flow outside the proposed construction area (ie. 4th Street and
       eastbound Riverview Drive traffic.
      Request for more evidence that a new replacement or supplementary bridge is
      Study how increased traffic on Huff would impact traffic patterns and student
      Provide cost comparisons or estimates of diverting Riverview Drive street
       expansions, building a new bridge versus rehabbing the existing bridge, and all
       costs beyond property acquisition.
      Why would you want to funnel traffic through Winona when Riverview Drive is
       already there and is the fastest route to Highway 61?
      Why can’t the bridge go from Latsch Island to Main Street?
      If the bridge enters on Huff Street, will trucks be allowed to travel on Huff Street
       to Highway 61?
      What pedestrian safety improvements would be included if traffic is routed to
       Huff Street? The area already has heavy foot traffic.
      What impact will the bridge route have on family neighborhoods and pedestrian
      Huff Street bisects the City’s new bike route, which is a safety concern.
      What impact will the bridge route have on historical areas such as near and
       around Windom Park?
      What are the impacts on potential tourism and visitors to Lake Park?
      Calculate cost estimates for the alternatives, including right of way acquisition
       and building demolition. It would also be helpful to know the criteria for
       acquisition due to access removal.
      Why does the process take so long? We don’t understand the delays. This is not a
       big process compared to other bridge projects.
      Has access to Latsch Island and Dick’s Marine during construction been
       considered? People use these areas extensively year round.
      What are the impacts of making Huff Street the primary access from Highway 61
       to the bridge in terms of right of way acquisition costs, the neighborhood along
       Huff Street, intangible losses of putting a new dividing highway in the community
       and through Lake Park?
      Where are the answers to these questions, who knows the answers, who looks at
       the questions, and who will respond?
      Concerns about the bridge project cutting the community in half and potentially
       destroying neighborhoods, and making travel difficult for non-autos.
      If a new bridge is needed and the alignment chosen is west of the current bridge,
       the west portion of the YMCA parking lot could be used for traffic routing.

Summary of Public Meeting 2                 4                            October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project
       Consider closing off Winona Street between Fourth Street and Fifth Street and use
       for YMCA parking.
      Traffic routing onto and off of the new bridge needs more discussion and
       communication with the public.
      Your traffic analysis assumed no major changes to vehicle weight. If vehicle
       weight decreased, how would this change the need for bridge repairs and traffic
       congestion assessments?
      Is a four-lane highway leading into the heart of downtown what we want for our
       community? The impact to housing, commerce, tourism, and community
       character will be too negatively changed.
      What didn’t work about expanding the Winona Street bridge that makes Huff
       Street a plausible alternative? There seems to be more chaos with the Huff Street
      Have we explored all alternatives to massive traffic increases, like a park and ride
       on the Wisconsin side and a shuttle bus to downtown and key destinations? This
       alone would eliminate the need for four lanes.
      Why does the process take so long? This seems bureaucratic and plodding. I
       suggest you fast track this to avoid losing potential funding. Are there ways to
       speed up the process?

Other Comments

      Huff Street options would impact too many residents. The community would be
       disrupted the least by the Winona Street options. My neighborhood would be
       completely changed by the Huff Street options.
      Hard to conceive of what the landing zones and retaining walls would look like
       based on the top down drawings. The Huff Street options completely alter an
       otherwise quiet neighborhood. A Winona Street option would afford the least
       amount of change to the look and feel of our community.
      Would like to see the bridge merge onto Huff Street instead of Winona Street to
       connect to Highway 61.
      Current bridge is sufficient for traffic demand and a new bridge is not needed.
       Save the money and repair the existing bridge.
      Land owners, business owners, and residents in the areas potentially affected by
       the project should receive personal notices of future meetings.
      Support for new bridge only, do not rehab the existing bridge.
      Can’t believe Huff Street would even be considered due to pedestrian traffic near
       WSU. Riverview Drive is easiest and fastest.
      Huff Street option would require many business acquisitions.
      Consider the routing of Highway 43 over the CNN-Soo Railroad tracks. A Pelzer
       style improvement is necessary to carry emergency traffic over the tracks in a safe
       manner. Please consider the Louisa Street overpass which is already in the
       planning stage.
      A straight access from the bridge to Highway 61 would improve travel for farm

Summary of Public Meeting 2                 5                            October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project
      Only consider the four-lane alternative at Huff Street.
      City should maintain the solitude of its parks, especially Windom Park and Lake
       Park. This is more inviting for visitors and residents alike. Therefore, direct traffic
       to Winona Street to Broadway and away from Huff Street.
      This is a onetime major project and should be done correctly the first time. Not all
       vehicles are the same – consider truck routes through the city.
      The Winona Bridge should be rehabilitated as it’s a unique bridge and should be
      If four lanes are really needed, build a second bridge landing at Huff Street.
      Have the truck route use Fourth Street for one block, then Huff Street to Second
       Street and Riverview Drive. Avoid having the truck route use Fouth Street for
       more than a block.
      Concerns about increased traffic for Huff Street alignments, such as safety for
       children and decreased home values. The Winona Street options would be the
       least intrusive.
      While the bridge can’t be easily expanded to keep up with gradual traffic growth,
       the approach streets can be. Will the alternatives’ intersections and nearby streets
       be built for today’s traffic and only later expanded if needed, or will they be built
       for the traffic volumes the bridge is designed for even if that could be far in the
      Will sound barrier walls on the bridge and approach streets be considered?
      I am really opposed to the Huff Street option due to heavy pedestrian traffic and
       an existing neighborhood. Winona Street does not have a neighborhood – many of
       the residents are temporary renters. I would also hate to see green space such as
       Windom Park endangered. The Huff Street option would also split the bike path.
      Move forward with a four lane option and have it land on Huff Street.
      Directing traffic down Huff Street will increase the risk for pedestrian traffic near
       WSU. Huff Street options would also bisect Winona’s historic district, making the
       community less attractive to visitors. It will bisect family neighborhoods, further
       decreasing the quality of life (including noise pollution) and making it more
       dangerous for children. These options will have a negative impact on two city
       parks. We should push traffic toward our city center for our struggling businesses,
       not into our neighborhoods.
      The exit onto Winona Street is a nightmare due to the dangerous three-way stop.
       Please make changes to streamline traffic for the next 100 years.
      I recommend not continuing to spend money on the outdated existing bridge. It’s
       obvious the structure is a safety concern. It served its purpose and we should look
       at total replacement.
      I recommend the Winona Street west option, as this location has less impact to
       businesses. The Winona Street east option could impact new improvements on the
       east side of the existing bridge. We should build a structure to serve our needs for
       60 to 100 years, and building anything less than two two-lane structures would
       not be forward thinking.
      Is any consideration given to the residents of Winona? Is the driving factor the
       convenience of truck traffic through town? Does anyone making the decision on

Summary of Public Meeting 2                  6                             October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project
         bridge location and access care about the impact to the community? No one is
         willing to take any responsibility for any decision.
        I remember looking at the map of car accidents at the bridge meeting and felt that
         it was a dramatic sales attempt to sell the necessity of a new bridge. The state is
         using fear to sell bridge projects.
        I think the Huff Street option would be the best. Huff could be turned into a four
         lane road and an over or underpass built at WSU for pedestrians.
        What data did you use for your traffic analysis? Please provide this. Did you
         consider the effect of increasing telecommuting? Did you factor in the probable
         lack of fossil fuels and lighter and smaller vehicles? Does Winona want to see a
         different future than the standard engineering response by coming up with ways to
         use less resources, provide needed services, and increase commerce and tourism,
         while maintaining small town life?


The commenters did not suggest completely new concepts that should be studied, but
raised questions about concepts previously dismissed and analysis methods. This
suggests the next phase of communication and meetings should include more
comprehensive information about alternatives studied and previously dismissed. When
asked about information needed to evaluate alternatives, the commenters had questions
and concerns about the project that will be studied during the next phase.
       H:\Projects\6802\_Correspondence\Meetings\101027_PIM2\Open House Summary 101027_web.doc

Summary of Public Meeting 2                    7                            October 27, 2010
Winona Bridge Project

To top