Skip to main content

Federal funding for Southwest Light Rail advances to Congress

The Metropolitan Council is hopeful Congress will award the nearly $929 million grant.

A key piece of federal funding for the Southwest Light Rail Project is a step closer to being awarded. 

The Trump administration has advanced the Southwest LRT Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) to Congress, the Metropolitan Council said in a news release Wednesday. The FFGA would free up nearly $929 million in federal funds, covering nearly half of the cost of the $2 billion project. 

“This is incredible news for the Twin Cities and state of Minnesota,” Gov. Tim Walz said in the release. “The Southwest Light Rail Project will be transformative for so many communities when complete and encapsulates the idea of a One Minnesota."

The Southwest Light Rail is already under construction with service expected to begin in 2023. The 14.5-mile line, which is an extension of the Green Line, will connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie through the cities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Minnetonka.

The Trump Administration's signal of intent Wednesday sends the FFGA to Congress for a 30-day notification, the Met Council says, noting it's hopeful it will be awarded.

"Now that the president’s administration has taken this step, I am confident members of Congress will also see the incredible value this project provides for the communities it will serve, the Twin Cities region, and the State of Minnesota," Hennepin County Commissioner and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority Chair Jan Callison said in the release.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The money from the Federal Transit Administration will mean the project is completed using federal, state and local funds. Previously, the administration granted the project four Letters of No Prejudice, which allowed local money to be spent and construction to advance prior to being awarded the FFGA. 

The Met Council says the project is the largest infrastructure project in state history and will create nearly 7,500 jobs. In the decade after the light rail begins service, the Met Council expects employment to grow by 18% within a half-mile of the proposed stations and expects population along the line to increase by 56% from 2014 to 2035.

There was less favorable news for hopes of extending the Blue Line to Brooklyn Park, with the Met Council announcing talks with BNSF Railway over sharing part of its freight line have broken down.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

ambulance

2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.21.21 AM

Stillwater police looking for suspect who stole vehicle with 1-year-old inside

The suspect abandoned the vehicle with the child still inside just 5 minutes after the theft.

Related

light rail

On track: Southwest Light Rail project gets final piece of funding

The $928.8 million funding grant will pay for the completion of the Green Line Light Rail Extension.

light rail

Cost of SW Light Rail corridor wall jumps from $20M to almost $93M

The corridor wall will run from the Bryn Mawr stop to Interstate 94.

southwest light rail metro transit construction

Report: $500M funding gap remains for Southwest Light Rail

The controversial transit project is on-track to start running nine years after the initial projected opening date.