Skip to main content

Panel: rising cost of southwest light rail line 'unacceptable'

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Commissioners from five counties that would help pay for a new light rail line in the Twin Cities area have told planners to rein in the escalating cost of the project.

The line connecting Minneapolis and Eden Prairie was originally budgeted at $1.25 billion but the Star Tribune reports the price tag has climbed by a few hundred million, which Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt said is "just not acceptable."

The newspaper says Hennepin County's Mike Opat suggested planners have put too much time and money into trying to appease a small number of critics.

As MPR reports, much of the upward pressure on the cost comes from the fact that part of the proposed route is already occupied by freight rail tracks. Re-routing the freight trains or running the light rail line underground would push up the expense.

And the prospect of moving the railroad tracks does not sit well with some neighbors -- particularly a St. Louis Park school, as KARE-11 reported earlier this month.

In addition, local governments have been weighing in with some costly suggestions for improving the project. Hopkins Patch reported last week on the $37 million worth of requests that city is making and said altogether communities along the line have requested $100 million in "betterments."

It's the Metropolitan Council that's on the receiving end of the complaints about costs, routes and details. The council recently postponed finalizing some of the decisions about the size and scope of the Southwest LRT line.

Here's how the council describes the project on its website.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 1.25.08 PM

Mora woman saves pelican caught in fishing line for days

A birthday fishing trip shapes into a heroic tale.

Kelsey Peterson in the documentary, "Move Me."

Doc depicting MN dancer's journey with paralysis debuts at Twin Cities film festival

The film surrounds St. Paul-born Kelsey Peterson, who continues to pursue her passions in dance after being paralyzed from the chest down in 2012.

Milwaukee Ave

Gallery: Rare opportunity to own a home on historic Milwaukee Avenue

All the houses on the avenue front onto a pedestrian mall in south Minneapolis.

US Secretary of Defense COVID vaccine flickr

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, May 13

The next update will be provided Monday.


Minnesota part of the top 2 hurricane force wind events since 2004

Photo above shows the ominous view in Marshall, Minnesota as a dangerous line of storms approached Thursday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 9.24.48 AM

DFL efforts to pass abortion, reproductive health bills blocked in Senate

The push to pass a slate of abortion and healthcare-related bills comes after a leaked Supreme Court opinion draft indicated Roe v Wade will be overturned.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 8.16.56 AM

Teen pulled from St. Croix River Thursday dies

The teen was located around 40 minutes after he had gone under water.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 7.23.52 AM

Thursday performances of Runestone! canceled due to COVID cases

This weekend's performances are still going ahead, History Theatre says.

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 7.12.27 PM

Storms cause grain bin to fall, killing one in Kandiyohi County

The National Weather Service confirmed the death on Thursday evening.


Ferocious winds, possible tornadoes leave destruction in MN

Numerous reports of tornadoes and nearly 100 mph straight-line winds.


Canoe carrying 4 overturns near St. John's University

Of the four, only one was wearing a lifejacket when the boat capsized Wednesday.