Compatibility Determination for Issuance of a Right of Way Permit for the Black Hawk Bridge Available for Comment

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service know that access to America’s public lands increases your quality of life. National wildlife refuges across the country offer quality opportunities to connect with special places in a variety of ways. Before any activity can be allowed on a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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, we must first evaluate that use through a Compatibility Determination.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed a draft Compatibility Determination for the issuance of a Right-of-Way (ROW) permit to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wisconsin DOT) is proposing to improve the existing bridge crossing of Iowa Highway 9 (IA 9) and Wisconsin State Highway 82 (WI 82) over the Mississippi River at Lansing, Iowa. The proposed improvements include construction of a new bridge spanning the main channel of the Mississippi River and construction of new or improvement of existing roadways, minor bridges, and intersections connecting the river bridge to IA 9 and IA 26 on the Iowa bank and WI 82 on the Wisconsin bank of the Mississippi River. While these proposed actions will take place throughout an extended project area, a portion of these improvements will impact refuge lands, with a right-of-way permit being issued for a total of 0.75 acre of permanent impacts to floodplain forest within the refuge.

The current bridge is antiquated, and the right-of-way easement permit is needed for structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

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construction, right-of-way realignment, ditches, side slope grading and long-term maintenance. This project will provide safe access to refuge units by visitors and staff as well as interstate travel between Wisconsin and Iowa. Additionally, the bridge provides primary access for two FWS owned boat ramps (Winneshiek and Big Slough) that are located on the causeway. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Environmental Assessment for the project originally proposed a 5.9-acre impact to the Refuge. During project design, this impact was further reduced to 0.75 acre, significantly avoiding, and minimizing impacts to the refuge. The current bridge is a public safety issue and other locations that were considered would have greater impacts to the refuge and/or cultural and environmental resources.

The Compatibility Determination can be viewed on-line or: Please provide your comments by October 5, 2023. You can send your comments and/or questions by mail or email to:

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

McGregor District

Attn: Kendra Pednault

470 Cliff Haven Rd.

Prairie du Chien, WI 53821

608-326-0515 x 115