The Metropolitan Council is giving county and city leaders an extra week to make a crucial decision about the future of the Southwest light-rail project, which would run from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.
The Star Tribune reports controversy surrounding the route of the light rail tracks is causing the setback.
St. Louis Park residents have been protesting a plan to reroute freight trains on an elevated bridge that would run close to an elementary school, citing safety concerns for children, KSTP reported. A playground, homes and businesses would have to be razed to clear the way.
An alternative design would place the light rail line in a shallow tunnel along the Kenilworth corridor of Minneapolis, exiting freight train traffic through a narrow section of the corridor, MPR reports. The option would force the removal of about 1,000 trees.
MPR noted even if the light rail line were to run above ground through the Kenilworth corridor, and the freight traffic was rerouted to St. Louis Park, the area would still lose about 600 trees.
Metro leaders said Thursday that they needed more time to make a decision on the route.
The Star Tribune says a meeting has been scheduled next Wednesday, where the Met council will make a recommendation to the Corridor Management Committee, which consists of several metro leaders.