Hwy 22 Victory Drive Memorial outreach continues
Next open house in Mapleton on Dec. 20
MANKATO, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to encourage the public to get involved in the future of the Highway 22 Victory Drive Memorial from Mankato to Mapleton. Many of the trees lining the corridor were planted as a memorial to area veterans and will need to be removed during highway construction over the next two years. MnDOT intends to reestablish the memorial through plantings and seeks input on the best approach.
The next opportunity for input is an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at the Mapleton Fire Hall.
Attendees will be able to comment on the memorial project scheduled for 2019 (after Highway 22 construction is complete) and the three concepts under consideration:
- Soldier's formation - low-grow native grass and trees with season colors and textures, following a linear pattern
- Unbroken - low-grow native grass closest to the highway in contrast with tall native flowers and grasses in a flowing/meandering pattern to represent an unbroken spirit weaving throughout the corridor; and trees with seasonal colors and textures, following the meandering pattern
- Healing landscape - native flowers and grasses throughout the corridor with varying color drifts that change by season and location and a minimal amount of new trees
The concepts also include monuments or hardscape ideas that are not currently funded. The complete concepts can be viewed at www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy22mapleton/victorydrive.html .
Victory Drive trees were planted by the Mankato Garden Club with the help of the Mapleton American Legion and other community groups when the highway was reconstructed in 1951. Local Mapleton residents and Maple River students have also been instrumental in replanting in past years. Many of these trees will be removed as part of the Highway 22 reconstruction project because they are too close to the highway for safety, are affected by the construction and or dead or dying.
In the spirit of those earlier partnerships, MnDOT welcomes partnering with civic groups and local governments to increase awareness of the plantings as a veterans memorial and potentially raise funds for additional memorial elements. If interested in becoming a partner, contact Project Manager, Robert Jones at 507-304-6198.
The public is reminded that the trees that will be removed are in MnDOT right of way and may not be removed without a permit.
Staff working on the road reconstruction scheduled for 2017-18 will also be available. The schedule for the projects is as follows:
- 2017-18 – Reconstruct Highway 22 from Mapleton to Blue Earth County Road 15, add left turn lanes at key intersections, replace Big Cobb River Bridge at Beauford. (Detours required)
- 2018 – Construct roundabout at Highway 22 and Blue Earth County Road 90 and resurface from CR 15 to CR 90. (Uses same detour)
- 2019 – Replace trees removed in 2017 with landscaping (to be determined) to beautify Victory Drive and honor Veterans, landscape Highway 22/CR 90 roundabout
A Highway 22 project website can be found at www.mndot.gov/d7/projects/hwy22mapleton .
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