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Tewaukon Structures

Proposed De Minimis Section 4(f) Finding

Public Notice

Tewaukon Structures Project

 Proposed De Minimis Section 4(f) Finding

The Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD), in cooperation with Sargent County and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), is proposing to replace the 136th Ave bridge over the Wild Rice River and the 145th Ave SE bridge over LaBelle Creek in Sargent County, North Dakota (Project). The purpose of the bridge replacement and roadway improvements at 136th Ave and 145th Ave SE are to reduce long-term maintenance and enhance visitor experience at the Tewaukon NWR. The existing routes have narrow bridges in poor condition that have been overtopped during recent flood events and are reaching the end of their service life span. Replacing the bridge structures would provide safe and reliable access for vehicles, law enforcement, emergency personnel, and agricultural equipment traveling to Tewaukon NWR.

The existing 136th Ave bridge will be replaced with two precast reinforced concrete box culverts with headwalls, wingwalls and riprap armoring at the outlet to protect from scour. The existing roadway is a variable width between 13-feet and 20-feet wide and has a gravel surface. The project will also reconstruct approximately 300 linear feet of gravel roadway to a consistent 20-foot width with a grade raise along 136th Ave to accommodate the new culvert, embankment construction, revegetation and gravel resurfacing of the roadway approaches. The existing 145th Ave SE bridge will be replaced with two precast reinforced concrete box culverts with headwalls, wingwalls and riprap armoring at the outlet to protect from scour. The project will also reconstruct approximately 750 linear feet of roadway and includes a grade raise along 145th Ave SE, embankment construction, widening, revegetation and gravel resurfacing of the roadway approaches. 

The proposed replacement of the existing bridge structure at 136th Ave with a reinforced concrete box culvert would extend into property owned and managed by the Tewaukon NWR. To facilitate the bridge replacement at 136th Ave, a permanent easement is required within the Tewaukon NWR. Due to the proposed use of the Tewaukon NWR for a transportation use, Section 4(f) regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 apply to the Project. Section 4(f) affords protection to historic properties and publicly-owned parks and recreation areas, such as the Tewaukon NWR.

FHWA-CFLHD anticipates a de minimis impact finding, as defined in 23 CFR 774.17, after consideration of avoidance, minimization, mitigation or enhancement measures. A de minimis finding may be made when impacts on a Section 4(f) property will not adversely affect the activities, features, and attributes that qualify the property for protection. The Project has been developed in coordination with Tewaukon NWR. During construction, access to the refuge would be maintained. In the long-term, the Project would benefit Tewaukon NWR by improving access for refuge visitors and adjacent landowners. To ensure consideration of all issues concerning the Project, we request you submit your comments to FHWA- CFLHD on or before December 12, 2021. Please submit your comments to: Nathan Mascarenas, Project Manager, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, 12300 W. Dakota Ave. Suite 380, Lakewood, CO 80228 or nathan.mascarenas@dot.gov.

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to provide safe travel and allow consistent access across the Wild Rice River (136th Ave. SE) and LaBelle Creek (145th Ave SE). The project will include the replacement of structures across the Wild Rice River and LaBelle Creek to allow the passage of vehicles. It is anticipated that these structures will be double box culverts. Work will also include roadway work for the approaches, as appropriate.

Anticipated Timeline

Advertise: Spring 2022
Construction: Summer 2022

Project Photos