The Federal Highway Administration has made resources available in achieving a solution that will preserve the flow to Coldwater Spring. See the Federal Letter below.

This removes another obstacle from MnDOT's televised position that "Under the current law it's impossible for us to move forward" (Richard Stehr, MnDOT Division Engineer and spokesman, September 21, 2001)

With Federal Support for alternative designs, as well as the always viable solution of simply raising the road above the water table, MnDOT doesn't have a leg to stand on, saying they must be in effect allowed to damage the spring.

The 2001 Legislature enacted the Coldwater Protection Bill (SF 2049) to prohibit projects like this from harming Coldwater Springs. Our Senators passed it unanimously, our Representatives by 80% and Governor Ventura signed and enacted it on May 15, 2001.

Every Senator voted For the bill and your Representative probably did too! You need to remind Each of them of that and thank them for their votes last session! And now you need to Alert and Inform them that MnDOT is now back to weaken that very same bill to allow them to permanently impact flow to Coldwater Springs. Your Representatives need to know that You care and that You expect them to stand firm on continued protection for Coldwater Springs, which they even have Federal Support - for the Birthplace of Minnesota.

The Minneapolis City Council is also pondering the possibilities of drafting a resolution in support of building the road in a way that does not harm the Coldwater Spring.

PLEASE give them a call and encourage them! Remind them that You Care!


Ward 1 Paul Ostrow (612) 673-2201
Ward 2 Paul Zerby (612) 673-2202
Ward 3 Joe Biernat (612) 673-2203
Ward 4 Barbara Johnson (612) 673-2204
Ward 5 Natalie Johnson Lee (612) 673-2205
Ward 6 Dean Zimmerman (612) 673-2206
Ward 7 Lisa Goodman (612) 673-2207
Ward 8 Robert Lilligren (612) 673-2208
Ward 9 Gary Schiff (612) 673-2209
Ward 10 Dan Niziolek (612) 673-2210
Ward 11 Scott Benson (612) 673-2211
Ward 12 Sandy Colvin Roy (612) 673-2212
Ward 13 Barret Lane (612) 673-2213

U.S. Department of Transportation Galtier Plaza
Federal Highway Administration 380 Jackson Street, Suite 500
Minnesota Division St Paul Minnesota 55101
Phone (651) 291-6100 Fax (651) 291-6000

November 16, 2001

Mr. Elwyn Tinklenberg
Department of Transportation
MS 100, Transportation Building
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155

Re: Minnesota Project NH 022-1(154), DPM 0040 SP 2725-57
TH 55 From Bloomington Road to East 54th Street and
TH 55 to 43rd Avenue South, Hennepin County

Dear Mr. Tinklenberg:

Enclosed is a Summary report of a Fact Finding Trip Dan Ghere and
Joe Krolak, FHWA Resource Center Hydraulics Engineers, made on
October 11-12, 2001, to review the groundwater issues involving the
TH 55/62 interchange project. We requested technical assistance from
Mr. Ghere and Mr Krolak in evaluating any groundwater impacts the
interchange construction may have on Camp Coldwater Spring.

Mr. Ghere and Mr. Krolak met with Division Office personnel, Mn/DOT
construction personnel, SEH (the design consultant), representatives
of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, and Mn/DOT's Chief

The review by Mr. Ghere and Mr. Krolak was intended to be an
information-gathering trip to familiarize them with the issues,
facts and context of the project. The report contains numerous
observations and comments that warrant further consideration
including the following:

* Camp Coldwater Spring appears to be in the ring of
influence of the dewatering that is occurring in the interchange
area; however, the effects of the dewatering could not be

* Additional testing is necessary to determine a
dewatering rate that will not affect the flow rate at the spring.

* Measurement methods for determining flow rates at
Camp Coldwater Spring are considered unreliable. Correctly
installing a weir and automatic depth- recording device is

* A monitoring assessment of groundwater withdrawals
will need to be conducted using a standard pump test to monitor
piezometer levels at various locations. Various pump withdrawal
rates need to be performed for a range of time intervals of 24,
48, and 72 hours to determine the pump yield through measurements
of the length of time it takes the piezometer levels to return to
prepump levels at each location.

* Another test was suggested which involved measuring
the outflow rate at the spring during a period of alteration of
pumping at the interchange. A minimum cycle of two weeks pumping
followed by two weeks of non-pumping repeated three or four times
was recommended.

* Additional monitoring of groundwater levels and flow
direction around the interchange would be beneficial to the design
of an alternative plan with an acceptable dewatering rate.

We ask that you give serious consideration to the observations and
suggestions in the Summary Report. Based on discussions with Mr.
Richard Stehr, since Mr. Ghere's and Mr. Krolak's review, it is
our understanding that Mn/DOT is planning to install additional
piezometers and conduct a pump test. With additional technical
assistance from our Resource Centers, we will continue to work
with Mn/DOT and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District in
achieving a solution that preserves the groundwater flow to Camp
Coldwater Spring.


Stanley M. Graczyk
Project Development engineer