BAXTER -- With the draft Environmental Impact Statement completed for the proposed improvements to Highway 371 North from Nisswa to Pine River, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is gearing up for a public meeting to discuss the project.
The draft EIS will be available for public review on Dec. 22. In addition to the reconstruction of Highway 371, the project also involves access management, local road connections and construction of storm water ponds. The Highway 371 North draft EIS assesses the environmental, social, historical, archaeological and economic impact of expanding Highway 371 to four lanes.
MnDOT will hold a public meeting from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 14 at Pequot Lakes High School to review the draft EIS and to discuss the project. Two identical informational presentations will be given at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. MnDOT and its consultant, Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc., will be on hand to discuss information and answer questions. Public comments will be received throughout the night, either verbally to a court reporter or in writing.
Homeowners, business operators, property owners, public officials and other interested parties within the project limits of Highway 371 are urged to attend the meeting and provide input. MnDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will use comments received during the comment period to select a preferred alternative.
The draft EIS document will be available for public review on the project Web site at www.projects.dot.state.mn.us/seh/371 and at the following locations: MnDOT District 3 Offices in Baxter, the Crow Wing County Highway Department, the Brainerd Public Library, Nisswa City Hall, Pequot Lakes City Hall, Jenkins City Hall, Pine River City Hall, Kitchigami Regional Library in Pine River and the Cass County Highway Department in Walker.
The draft EIS will be available in alternative formats for individuals with disabilities. Individuals with a disability, who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, should contact the project manager at the MnDOT Baxter office, (218) 828-2465. Hearing or speech-impaired persons should contact the Minnesota Relay Service at (800) 627-3529 by Jan. 7.
Written comments on the draft EIS will be accepted throughout the comment period, which will remain open until Feb. 9. All comments and questions should be directed to: Tony Hughes, MnDOT project manager, 7694 Industrial Park Road, Baxter, 56425; or by e-mail at TH371N@dot.state.mn.us, phone at (218) 828-2465 and toll-free at (800) 657-3961.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.