WINONA, Minn. -

Thursday night was the first chance for the public to weigh in on the proposed changes to the Highway 43 bridge in Winona.

The proposal includes a new bridge to be built upstream from the existing one that would carry two lanes of traffic into Winona. The existing bridge would be updated and bring traffic out of the city and over to Wisconsin.

Project planners say keeping the old bridge was important in the process because it is up for a federal historic designation. "We found that there is merit to rehabbing the existing bridge, it will require some improvements, but we do intend to preserve as much of it as we can," says MnDOT project manager Jai Kalsy.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015.