Winona County Board members were told the Minnesota Department of Transportation is waiting for two things to happen before the Highway 43 bridge project can begin.
Project Manager Terry Ward told the board the City Council needs to approve the plan, and a "finding of no significant impact" on the environment...also known as a FONSI needs to be declared.
Ward also said while the new bridge will be built to a 100-year lifespan, the rehabbed original bridge's main span will have only a 30-year lifespan...meaning it is expected to begin to need servicing in 30 years.
That drew some concerns that the old bridge might have to be replaced in 30 years. Ward said that local and federal approval would still be needed at that time, just as with the current project. if any changes were to be made.
The City Council is expected to hold a vote on the plan this coming Monday, August 19th, after holding a public hearing. Minn DOT's environmental review results are expected by the end of this year.
County Recorder Bob Bambenek said purchasing of right-of-way impacting 26 properties will start within two months after city approval of the project plan.
The main impact on the county will be the loss of some parking under the old bridge.....