| Friday March 22, 2002 the Minnesota Senate voted to pass
SF3298 which contains the amendment:
This is now set to go to the House on Monday March 25th.
If passed, this means that the court order stipulation between MnDOT
and the MCWD lawsuit will be followed in the road design.
MnDOT has also designed an impermeable liner under the road to isolate it from the groundwater. This is like what the third party consultant suggested, except better. The liner being higher will require no grouting to the bedrock, nor any anchors to be drilled into it because it won't have the buoyancy that the deeper liner would have had. The weight of the road will hold it down. This also will allow water passage under the road, especially if they put in some gravel or other easily permeated material under the liner for the water.
An important aspect of this is that the 55/62 interchange area actually sends relatively little water to Coldwater Spring. It acts as more of a pressure head to prevent the water from heading south and forces the water to go to the spring.
Now for the down side. The design does keep with the natural water table that showed itself when they initially dug the trench for the bridge. But the top drain in the new design will not maintain a flood stage level. On the other hand this might not be well maintained naturally anyway. The spring flow doesn't change much with rainfall.
The Coldwater Protection law remains in place, but allows this project to move forward, with this new design. MCWD keeps a 30 month hold on the success of the project when changes can be made. Then the responsibility remains on MnDOT to maintain it, and Lower Minnesota river watershed then takes responsibility because it's technically in their watershed. (unless MCWD sues MnDOT again)
If in the 30 months, a judge needs to look at what happening, the Coldwater Protection law will still be in place to give them a clear intention on what is supposed to be happening.
So now MnDOT will need to reapply for a new permit from Lower Minnesota River watershed. It will be important to have people present to ensure that Lower MN puts into the permit that they reserve the right to require MnDOT to maintain this, incase something goes wrong in the future.