Corridor Management Plan Corridor Management Plan . Draft . January 2002 . Acknowledgements . Public

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Text of Corridor Management Plan Corridor Management Plan . Draft . January 2002 . Acknowledgements . Public

  • Minnesota Trunk Highway 16 Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway

    Corridor Management Plan

    Draft

    January 2002

  • Acknowledgements Public participation in the corridor management planning process was critical, both for creating a well-informed and implementable plan and for fostering stewardship of the Byway and its resources. The Corridor Management Plan also provides recommendations for ongoing public participation to facilitate implementation of the Plan and monitoring of Byway conditions and issues. Community leaders throughout the byway area supported nomination of the byway for national status and are committed to future cooperation to enhance the byway. Co-chairs of the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway Study Committee were Marlene Schultz of Houston and Deb Staley of Spring Valley. Members of the committee were Mark Bishop, Harmony; Brian Brown, Rushford; Jan Christopherson, Spring Valley; Joyce Jacobson, Harmony; Beverly Jiardina, La Crescent; Sharon Liudahl, Spring Grove; Robert Pederson, Chatfield; Jon Pieper, Lanesboro; Jane Schiltz, Caledonia; Ted Tweito, Spring Grove; and Rosalie Kruegel, Spring Valley. The Minnesota Department of Transportation, especially Scenic Byways Coordinator Mark Anderson, provided invaluable assistance, as did Beth Bartz and Jennifer Schulz of SRF Consulting Group and Will Stark of 106 Group, ltd. Historic Bluff Country Executive Director Kathy Hartl also provided leadership for both the Corridor Management Plan and the national nomination. Many individuals throughout the region worked hard to complete the processes, assure broad participation, and provide support for developing the Plan and nominating the byway for national status. Thank you to all of them, even though they may not be specifically named here. The following communities and organizations provided support: Caledonia Chamber of Commerce City of Caledonia City of Chatfield City of Fountain City of Harmony City of Houston City of La Crescent City of Lanesboro City of Peterson City of Preston City of Rushford City of Spring Valley City of Wykoff Fillmore County Commissioners Harmony Economic Development Authority La Crescent Chamber of Commerce Minnesota Department of Transportation Minnesota Representative Gregory M. Davids, Preston Minnesota Senator Kenric Scheevel, Preston Minnesota: Representative Michelle Rifenberg, La Crescent Prairie Visions Group Southeastern Minnesota League of Municipalities Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce Spring Valley Community Historical Society, Inc. U. S. Senator Mark Dayton, U. S. Congress U. S. Senator Paul Wellstone, U. S. Congress

  • Continued cooperation to implement the goals and objectives of the Corridor Management Plan will allow travelers to continue to be intrigued by the dramatic bluffs, sinkholes, caves, and carved river valleys as they explore the history and culture of the small communities of the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway Corridor, discovering unique hometown stories.

  • Table of Contents Chapter One – Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1

    Chapter Two – Public Participation ................................................................................................... 6

    Chapter Three – The Byway Theme .................................................................................................. 10

    Chapter Four – Byway Resources and Intrinsic Qualities ......................................................... 14

    Chapter Five – Interpretive Plan ........................................................................................................ 29

    Chapter Six – Roadway Amenities.................................................................................................... 41

    Chapter Seven – Signage ..................................................................................................................... 47

    Chapter Eight – Marketing and Promotion ................................................................................... 50

    Chapter Nine – Implementation Plan.............................................................................................. 59

    Chapter Ten – Monitoring and Evaluation ..................................................................................... 67 Appendix A – Public Involvement Strategy .................................................................................... 68

    Appendix B – Summaries of Stakeholder Meetings ...................................................................... 71

    Appendix C – Open House Summary Materials ........................................................................... 79

    Appendix D – Local Support Letters and Government Actions ............................................... 80

    Appendix E – Resource Inventory ...................................................................................................... 81

    Appendix F – Interpretive Recommendations for Selected Byway Resources .................... 89 List of Figures Scenic Byway Corridor Map.................................................................................................................. 5

    Natural Resource Location Map ......................................................................................................... 17

    Scenic Resource Location Map........................................................................................................... 20

    Recreational Resource Location Map .............................................................................................. 22

    Historic Resource Location Map ....................................................................................................... 24

    Cultural Resource Location Map ....................................................................................................... 25

    Archaeological Resource Location Map .......................................................................................... 26

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    Chapter One – Introduction PURPOSE OF PLAN The Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway passes through dramatic hills and rolling prairie, historic river towns of quaint character, and boundless outdoor recreational opportunities of all kinds. The Byway is a special place to visit, work, or call home. For this reason, the Corridor Management Plan was developed with the purpose of presenting a widely acceptable approach to improve and maintain the Byway – an approach intended to highlight the Byway’s distinctive characteristics while ensuring the qualities that make this place special are protected. The Corridor Management Plan was prepared to help implement the goals, interpretive message, and economic strategies established by the Scenic Byway Study Committee and participating organizations and individuals. This document provides an assessment of the Byway’s intrinsic qualities and resources as well as recommendations for creating a balance between promotion and protection. Resource management strategies are made to ensure that the quality of life in the Historic Bluff Country is not compromised. The Corridor Management Plan is also a necessary piece of the application for National Scenic Byway designation. The Plan is designed to convey potential for further investment into the existing Historic Bluff Country State Scenic Byway and portray the corridor’s national significance. Included in the Plan is guidance for interpretive development and marketing of Byway resources, as well as recommendations for implementation and protection of community character. The combination of many intrinsic qualities of the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway make this area a destination of local, regional and national significance. The ultimate objective of this plan is to strengthen Historic Bluff Country communities by enhancing their economic base and creating a closer connection to the area’s unique natural resources and exceptional history and culture through interpretive development. This objective would be further enhanced by national designation. With the strategies outlined in this Corridor Management Plan, the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway can encourage investment in the region’s economy, enhance recreation and interpretation, and maintain the integrity of the distinct qualities and character of the area. THE BYWAY CORRIDOR The Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway follows Minnesota Trunk Highway 16 through southeastern Minnesota’s picturesque Root River Valley and was designated a State Scenic Byway in 1995. The 88-mile route extends from Interstate 90 (I-90) on the west (just west of Dexter) to La Crescent on the east, where it meets again with I-90. As Highway 16 virtually parallels I-90, it therefore functions as a convenient alternative route to travelers on the interstate. This Corridor Management Plan also addresses issues concerning connecting routes to Highway 16 to the degrees that they provide access to the Byway or supporting resources of the Byway.

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    A corridor extending 12 miles to either side of Highway 16 was considered in the preparation of this Plan. The Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway links together some of the most scenic, historic, cultural, natural and recreational resources in the area. Traveling through the small towns and quaint commun