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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Spring 2004 arrow Minnesota-Wisconsin: Construction of a New Crossing Over the St. Croix River
UPDATE:
Minnesota and Wisconsin: Construction of a New Crossing Over the St. Croix River

Agencies: Federal Highway Administration and National Park Service

As reported in the Summer 2003 Case Digest, the ACHP began working with the Federal Highway Administration and others to consider new crossings over the St. Croix River between Stillwater, Minnesota, and Houlton, Wisconsin. The current Stillwater Lift Bridge, which is 70 years old and listed in the National Register, will not be able to accommodate projected traffic demands.

Since July 2003, the stakeholder group of seven Federal agencies and 19 State, city, and local organizations that was established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has met monthly to develop alternatives for the proposed new crossing over the St. Croix River.

Grand Garage, near the Stillwater Lift Bridge, Minnesota

 

Close to the Stillwater, Minnesota, Lift Bridge is the historic Grand Garage, which was occupied in 1924 by the Stillwater Motor Company and now houses shops, restaurants, and offices. (staff photo)

Four alternatives are currently under consideration, two of which are twin spans south of Stillwater and a third that is a partner span to the lift bridge.

The alternatives will be evaluated in a supplemental draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A Federal agency develops an EIS when its activities will have substantial effects on the natural and cultural environment. The EIS offers alternative activities that might reduce or remove the harm caused by the proposed activity.

The St. Croix River crossing project was among the first seven transportation projects elevated to FHWA’s priority list under the 2002 Executive Order on Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews.

In addition to the monthly stakeholder group meeting, the ACHP has been participating in working groups on the case. One of these groups, which focuses on cultural resources, has begun to gather information to resolve the question of how the Stillwater Lift Bridge would be used in the future.

The draft environmental impact analysis of the four alternatives should be available for review by the stakeholder group at the end of April 2004. Following its review, the analysis will be incorporated into the supplemental draft EIS, which should be available for review by September 2004.

For background information on this case, visit the Summer 2003 Case Digest.


Staff contact: Laura Dean

Updated June 1, 2004

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