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Costs mount for southwest Metro light rail proposal

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When cost estimates for the light rail line into the southwest Metro suburbs go up, it's by the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Star Tribune is reporting design changes from the original concept and to accommodate conflicts with existing rail traffic boost the price from $1.67 billion to $1.82 billion. The extra $150 million is for acquiring land for park-and-ride spots and stations. That's on top of another increase that hiked the original $1.25 billion price tag.

Meanwhile, construction of the newest line from Minneapolis to St. Paul moved gently forward this week with the test of the tracks through the University of Minnesota. The test run was delayed by a nearby gas leak, but otherwise went off without a hitch.

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