Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Press Release

Incidental Take Notice For Douglas County


By - May 30th, 2024 10:31 am

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposes to issue an authorization for the incidental taking of a rare plant, which may result from the Interstate 535 Blatnik Bridge project in Douglas County.

Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the species’ overall population at risk.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, is proposing the replacement of the John A. Blatnik Bridge (Minnesota Bridge 9030, Wisconsin Bridge B-16-5) on I-535. This bridge connects the communities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, across St. Louis Bay. The project would also include the reconstruction of an interchange in Superior that routes I-535 directly to U.S. Highway 53 with local connections to Hammond Avenue and State Highway 35.

Preliminary and investigative work activities are planned for the summer and fall of 2024, including construction of an access road, excavation and removal of soil at pier locations, pile load testing and soil borings. Bidding for the larger design/build project that replaces the bridge and constructs the interchange and local roads will start in the summer of 2026, with construction beginning in late 2026 or early 2027. Construction is expected to be ongoing until 2031. The work activities in 2024 and 2026/2027-2031 will impact the rare species.

The presence of the state threatened seaside crowfoot is confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some plants.

The DNR concludes that the proposed project will minimize the impacts on the species by adhering to conservation measures, is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of the species or the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action.

Conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on seaside crowfoot are available by visiting the DNR Incidental Take Public Notices webpage or upon request from DNR Conservation Biologist Stacy Rowe at Stacy.Rowe@wisconsin.gov or 608-228-9796.

The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding project-related impacts to the seaside crowfoot by June 29, 2024 to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
C/O Stacy Rowe, DNR Conservation Biologist
2514 Morse St.
Janesville, WI 53535
Stacy.Rowe@wisconosin.gov or 608-228-9796

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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