Skip to main content

$500 million in possible cuts outlined for Southwest light rail line

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Transportation officials are pondering several changes to the proposed Southwest Light Rail project in the Twin Cities metro area that could trim up to $500 million from its price tag.

Metro Transit officials came up with the list of potential cuts as they try to reduce the cost of the project, which has risen to an estimated $2 billion as of last month.

The planned 16-mile route – which will extend Metro Transit’s Green Line from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie – previously had a price tag of $1.65 billion.

But it jumped to $1.994 billion following additional engineering and environmental studies that found poor ground conditions and soil contamination along the route, the Met Council announced in April.

The list of more than 50 possible changes was released Wednesday at an informational meeting, as staff try to meet a goal of reducing the project's cost by at least $341 million, the Star Tribune reports.

The most savings would come from eliminating a few of the 17 planned stops along the rail line, according to FOX 9. Options include getting rid of one of them in downtown Minneapolis, or shortening the route at the other end by eliminating at least one stop in Eden Prairie.

Other suggested cuts included trimming plans for pedestrian trails, landscaping and public art, according to the Star Tribune.

At this point, the alignment of the route itself would not be changed.

State leaders, including Gov. Dayton, said they were shocked when the project's cost ballooned to $2 billion, and they said the future of the project was in doubt if the price tag is not reduced.

No decisions were made at the meeting. The Southwest LRT Corridor Management Committee will recommend a final plan to the Metropolitan Council by early July.

Next Up

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here’s what the Vikings owners say about new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Vikings announced his hiring on Wednesday night.

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.


Reward to find person who left kittens to die in freezing WI cold

The cats were thrown from a vehicle, according to a witness.

metro mobility bus

Charges: Man led police on multi-city pursuit in stolen Metro Mobility bus

The bus had been left unattended with the keys inside when it was stolen.

Bell Ramsey Co. Jan 22 - crop

Charges: Man fatally shot mother of his child during argument

Officers found her on the ground outside the couple's home.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 26

More than 15,000 new cases in today's update.