NOTICE OF PUBLIC INPUT
Town of Buffalo, Winona Connector
Town of Buffalo Park to Great River State Trail
Buffalo County is requesting public input for the proposed Winona Connector shared-use path project.
The proposed length of the Winona Connector shared-use path is approximately 2.4 miles. The shared-use path starts at the Town of Buffalo Park and connects to the Great River State Trail at the Marshland Access trailhead. The proposed path would run parallel to WIS 35 just south of the state highway and would border the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge to the south.
The trail would be 10-feet-wide and have a crushed limestone surface. Where embankment fills are required in wetland areas, the path would be 8-foot wide with a crushed limestone surface. The reduction in path width is necessary to reduce the proposed project’s wetland impacts and the path’s footprint in the wildlife refuge.
Other proposed work includes tree removal, culvert extensions, and grading operations to build the side slopes. An at-grade rail crossing is proposed at the intersection of the path and the Canadian National (CN) railway which is near the east end of the project.
The project would impact lands within the USFWS Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, an important public resource. Temporary access to the wildlife refuge for contractor operations would be granted by USFWS through a 0.92 acre, temporary limited easement (TLE). The USFWS will issue a 0.36 acre, 50-Year ROW Permit to accommodate the placement of the Winona Connector shared-use path. USFWS owns the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. There is no real estate acquisition from the Town of Buffalo Community Park. All work near the park entrance is within WIS 35 right-of-way.
The public should be aware that there may be temporary intermittent driveway closures caused by contractor operations to both the Town of Buffalo Community Park and the Great River State Trail Marshland Access. WIS 35 would remain open during construction with shoulder closures. Design is anticipated to be completed winter 2023-2024. Construction is anticipated for summer 2024.
You are encouraged to provide input and ask questions regarding the above impacts to the USFWS Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge and the overall proposed Winona Connector project. Coordination with area residents and businesses, local governments, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders will continue throughout the project timeline. Please contact Aleigha Burg, Consultant Project Manager at (608) 498-4804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.