Posted: Saturday, 17 November 2012 5:59AM
Highway 43 Bridge--YMCA Impact
The Winona Family YMCA says the Highway 43 bridge project will present significant impacts and challenges to the Y, contrary to popular opinion.
In a letter to local news media, Executive Director Andy Blomsness says while the bridge project represents a viable and positive solution for the Winona Community...and the YMCA supports it...the Y still has some concerns about its own future.
Even though the bridge proposal will not take any of the YMCA's actual physical property, Blomsness says, it will make member and program participant arrival and departure significantly more difficult and dangerous. He says the Y has been informed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation it will not be getting any financial assistance from MinnDOT.
Blomsness says strategic planning by the YMCA began over two years ago when plans for a new bridge were announced. Blomsness says the Board of Directors began focusing on the very challenging and exciting process for relocation and community collaboration to make sure the Y continues to be a vital part of the Winona community.
Blomsness says the loss of street parking on all four sides of the YMCA building is a very real loss, with limited parking already causing difficulty to members. Parking across these busy streets has been discussed but is not a reasonable or safe option for anyone utilizing the Y.
More details on the bridge plan, and Winona City Council's role in approving the project, is expected to come next month when MinnDOT meets with local officials and the bridge project advisory committee.