For the first time in nearly a year, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) will hold an informational meeting to provide the public with details of the upcoming Highway 43 bridge project.
Slated for August 12, the meeting will include a formal presentation as well as opportunities for citizens to speak with Mn/DOT representatives one-on-one about the bridge project. Topics such as bridge design, land acquisition, project timeline and visual aspects of the new bridge are expected to be discussed during the meeting.
Mn/DOT plans to add a second, two-lane, bridge just upstream from the current structure, which will eventually carry motorists from Wisconsin into Winona. Following the completion of the new structure, however, all traffic will be routed to the new bridge while the current river span is rehabilitated. Once both the new bridge and rehabilitation of the current structure is completed, all pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic coming into Winona will use the new bridge, while the current bridge will be used exclusively for traffic crossing into Wisconsin.
Members of the bridge Project Advisory Committee were given an update to the bridge design plans earlier this month, learning that Mn/DOT's recommended new bridge option is for the least expensive design that was studied. The concrete "box girder" design, similar to the I-90 bridge in Dresbach, has been criticized as unattractive by some who fear the design won't fit well with the current, historic bridge. Mn/DOT officials told the Project Advisory Committee that if a more attractive, and expensive, bridge design were chosen, Winona area residents would have to wait until more funding were available for the project.
The August 12 meeting will be held at the Winona Armory, 1303 Homer Road in Winona, from 4 until 6 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5 p.m.