Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Public Meetings For Review of Proposed Pipeline Project

SAINT PAUL –The first public meetings on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline project will be held during the week of June 5.
Under the authority of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and its decisionmaking process, the State of Minnesota issued the draft EIS on May 15 for a public review and comment period that extends through July 10 and includes 22 public meetings in the counties through which the proposed pipeline or an alternative route is under consideration.
Meetings will be held in Bagley and Grand Rapids on Tuesday, June 6; Park Rapids and Cass Lake on Wednesday, June 7; Floodwood and Brainerd on Thursday, June 8; and Wadena on Friday, June 9.
The draft EIS and full schedule of public meetings are available at:
Enbridge Energy has applied for a certificate of need and route permit from the Public Utilities Commission to construct its proposed Line 3 pipeline project. By order of the Commission, a draft EIS has been prepared by the Minnesota Commerce Department in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to evaluate the potential human and environmental impacts. 
The purpose of the upcoming meetings is to inform the public about the contents of the draft EIS and to provide an opportunity for the public to submit comments, either oral or written, to help prepare the final EIS for the Public Utilities Commission’s decision making on Enbridge’s proposed project.
Each meeting will begin with an open house featuring information stations on specific topics in the draft EIS. Staffed by agency representatives, the stations will allow Minnesotans to learn about the contents of the draft EIS.
The open house will be followed by a brief presentation about the purpose of the EIS and the regulatory review process before the Public Utilities Commission’s final decisions.
Each meeting will conclude with an open comment session, allowing members of the public to offer input on the draft EIS, which will be transcribed by a court reporter for the official record. The time available for each comment will depend on the number of people requesting to speak. There is also the option of providing comments individually to a court reporter during the open house.
In addition, Minnesotans can submit written comments, either at the meeting or via email, fax or regular mail. All comments for the record, whether oral or written, will be considered in preparing the final EIS.
Government-to-government consultations between the State of Minnesota and the tribal governments in the state are also ongoing as part of the environmental review process.
After completion of the final EIS, a series of public hearings will be held later in 2017 by an administrative law judge from the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings to address Enbridge’s certificate of need and route permit applications. At these public hearings, Minnesotans will be able to submit comments, present evidence and ask questions. 
The administrative law judge will submit a report to the Public Utilities Commission with findings of facts, conclusions of law and recommendations. The Commission is expected to decide on Enbridge’s certificate of need and route permit applications in the spring of 2018.
Enbridge is proposing to construct a new oil pipeline in Minnesota, replacing its existing Line 3. As proposed, the new pipeline would follow the existing Line 3 from the North Dakota border near Hallock to an Enbridge terminal in Clearbrook. From Clearbrook eastward, the proposed pipeline would follow a new right-of-way, south of the existing Line 3, ending at an existing terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. As proposed by Enbridge, the existing Line 3 would be abandoned and left in place after the new pipeline is installed, tested and operational.
Written comments on the draft EIS will be accepted through Monday, July 10, 2017. Comments may be emailed, mailed or faxed.
Mail:   Minnesota Department of Commerce
           Attn: Jamie MacAlister, Environmental Review Manager
           85 7th Place East, Suite 280
           St. Paul MN  55101-2198
Fax:   651-539-0109

Friday, May 26, 2017

Open house for construction projects in Nielsville and Climax

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The public is invited to attend an informational meeting on Thursday, June 1 to learn more about this summer’s detour for construction projects on Highway 75 in Nielsville and Highways 75 and 220 in Climax.

The open house will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Climax Community Center, 105 West Broadway, Climax.

The meeting will be held as an open house with no formal presentation and everyone is welcome to come when convenient. Representatives of the project team will be on hand to discuss the project details and answer questions.

The project is scheduled to begin on June 12 and is expected to be complete by mid-September. Along with concrete resurfacing in Nielsville and Climax, the project includes improvements to pedestrian accessibility, lighting and drainage.

To request an ASL or foreign language interpreter, call 651-366-4720.  To request other reasonable accommodations, call 651-366-4718 or email

For real-time travel information and road conditions anywhere in Minnesota, visit

Thursday, May 25, 2017

MnDOT Urges Caution in Work Zones Memorial Day Weekend

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With summer road construction in full swing, the Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to plan ahead before traveling during Memorial Day weekend and use extra care while driving through highway work zones.

“MnDOT will suspend work on most projects during the holiday weekend,” said Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “However, the work zones are still in place. To prevent crashes, drivers need to slow down, pay attention and not follow other vehicles too closely when approaching and traveling through work zones.”

Motorists may encounter bypasses, lane closures and detours. MnDOT recommends that motorists be prepared for slower moving traffic, think about alternate routes, and call 5-1-1 or go to to get information about road construction detours. 

Highway projects that may affect weekend travel May 26-29 include:
Twin Cities
·         Interstate 94 between St. Paul and Maplewood – lane closures and ramp closures
·         I-94 between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center – lane closures and slow traffic
·         Highway 169 Golden Valley to Edina – detour
·         I-694 between Arden Hills and Vadnais Heights – two lanes in each direction, eastbound lanes separated by concrete median barrier

Central Minnesota
·         Highway 25 Foley – detour
·         Highway 27 closed west of Osakis over I-94 – detour
·         Highway 71 closed in Elrosa – detour
·         Highway 238 Albany to Upsala – detour
·         Highway 371 Nisswa to Jenkins – two way traffic, shoulder closures, County Road 16 detour

Northern Minnesota
·         Hwy 1/Hwy169 Eagles Nest project – lane closures, flaggers
·         Highway 10 in Detroit Lakes – lane closures
·         I-35 northern Pine County and southern Carlton County – traffic restricted to one lane in each direction
·         I-35 over Hwy 61 in Carlton County – traffic restricted to one lane in each direction
·         Highway 53 relocation project in Virginia – single lane in each direction
·         Hwy 61 in Beaver Bay – single lane traffic in each direction
·         Hwy 169, Hwy 37 in Hibbing – bypass construction and lane closures

West central Minnesota
·         Highway 4 Cosmos – detour
·         Highway 22 Litchfield – detour

Southern Minnesota
·         Highway 22 Mapleton to Blue Earth CR 15 detour
·         Highway 52 between Rochester and Rosemount – lane closures
·         I-35 bridge replacements south of Owatonna – single lane in each direction
·         I-90 between Sherburn and Fairmont – lane and speed restrictions

MnDOT urges motorists to be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.
For a complete list of projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, visit Motorists may also sign up to receive email updates for major projects at