A reconstruction of Burdick Expressway in East Minot from 9th Street SE to 15th Street SE may encroach into the existing river channel near 10th Street SE. A public input meeting was held on Tuesday, June 28th, but the only notification we found on the meeting was through the North Dakota Department of Transportation website.
We’re not unconditionally opposed to the engineer preferred alternative that widens Burdick Expressway, but at this point, there has been little to no public information offered on environmental impacts, river hydrology and access concerns (there’s an excellent access point possibly in the path of the encroachment), and concerns about aesthetics.
We’re asking for an opportunity to learn more about these potential impacts and submit formal comments at a date following that meeting. Our official comment is below, but we need your help. Please use the form at the bottom to submit your comments (we’ve pre-written a draft for you to put your name on or you can write your own) that ask for a bit more time to learn what impacts — if any — this project will have on the river and our goal of restoring these now-dead loops to active, free-flowing sections of river in Minot. The deadline to submit comments is Wednesday, July 13.
Here’s our official comment:
As supporters of the of the goal to restore Minot’s now-dead loops back to active, free-flowing river channel, we’re concerned that the preferred construction alternative that includes the straigtening of Burdick Expressway near 10th Street SE also includes encroachment into one of Minot’s last remaining sections of natural river channel.
The Souris River through Minot has the potential to be a valuable community asset, and as of April 2016, the Friends of the Souris River formally organized to advocate for that effort.
And while we’re not unconditionally opposed to the preferred alternative, we are concerned about the lack of information made available publicly regarding the impact the design will have on an environmentally sensitive wetland, river hydrology and access, neighborhood aesthetics, and property values.
Due to the fact that the initial public information meeting on June 28th, 2016 was poorly notified and scheduled in conflict with a City of Minot City Council meeting, we’d appreciate the opportunity to sit with project engineers to further assess these impacts before offering formal comment.
Because of your support, we were able to schedule a meeting with project engineers and representatives from the Department of Transportation. We’ll keep you updated.