The plans to relocate the portion of Highway 53 just south of Virginia continue to march on.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation invites everyone to a meeting on Thursday, November 7 which will set the stage for the final Economic Study Report, which will be presented to the public afterwards.

MNDOT shares the following updates:

The Hwy 53 Relocation Project is moving forward with the environmental documentation and engineering details. Work is progressing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is scheduled for publication in late winter 2014. Engineering is continuing on all five alternatives - the two no-build (closure and buyout) and the M-1, E-1A and E-2. Details on each of these alternatives can be found on the project website. Drilling has been completed in the Rouchleau Pit and a hydrogeological study of the pit is in process. Other work continues on the engineering details of each route including cost estimates and construction processes.

The next Coffee and Conversation Meeting will be held Thursday, November 7 - 10AM - at the MNDOT Office located at 101 Hoover Rd in Virginia.  Future meetings are scheduled for December 5 and January 2.

Following the Nov. 7 Coffee & Conversation meeting, the final economic study report will be presented. It is anticipated that this presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will also be held at the Virginia MnDOT office. Economist Jim McComb of McComb and Associates will present the findings of the final report. The firm of Short Elliot and Hendrickson will present the findings of the work done on emergency services and economic impacts to local governments.

If you have questions or concerns about the project, contact the Project Manager, Roberta Dwyer, roberta.dwyer@state.mn.us or 218-725-2781.