City Council May Consider MN43 Bridge Plan In February
Minnesota Department of Transportation officials met with Winona community members on Wednesday to provide an update on the Highway 43 bridge project...but few new details emerged about the plan to expand Winona's Mississippi River crossing. We do know more now about the project timeline.
City Council approval of the new four land crossing may be sought as early as February of next year...and work on the piers to support the new upriver span could begin in spring of 2014. The state is also proposing to significantly widen Winona Street between Fourth and Fifth...in part to allow for an improved drop-off area in front of the Winona Family YMCA. Drawings also show an island seperating north and south bound traffic on Winona Street in front of the Y. The Y though may not benefit from the change, however...Y leaders have made no secret of their desire to leave their current location as a result of the bridge project.
Mayor Jerry Miller told the bridge team that a priority for the city is that commuters continue to have confidence in the safety of the existing span until it is rehabbed following completion of the new bridge. Miller says the entire project will take up to five years and Winonans need to know that the current bridge is safe during the length of the project.
No specifics were released about exactly what properties will need to be acquired to make way for the expanded river crossing...but MnDOT says talks have already begun with affected property owners.