SW light-rail architects back tunnel option

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Architects have endorsed a $100 million-plus plan to put Southwest Corridor light-rail trains in tunnels through a Minneapolis recreation area.

It was the first time they had backed one proposal over a competing plan ��� a $200 million proposal to reroute freight trains in St. Louis Park, which residents there strongly opposed.

At issue is what the Star Tribune notes is the biggest transit project ever in the metro, an ambitious $1.6 billion proposal that aims to bring light-rail to the southwest suburbs, linking downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. The 15-mile, 17-stop Southwest Corridor light-rail aims to serve up to 30,000 riders a day.

The plan has been controversial, with recent debate focused on where to route it, so the architect recommendation gives the proposal some momentum.

But the plan still has a lot of track to cover before it is officially approved. An advisory board for the Southwest project is likely to vote Wednesday on whether to accept the tunnel option, or redirect the freight through St. Louis Park, MPR notes. If approved, the full Met Council could make a decision on it as early as next week, the Star Tribune notes.

From there, the city council would have to vote on it, and at least several city council members oppose digging 1.4-mile tunnels in the scenic Kenilworth Corridor in Minneapolis.

Council member and mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges said project planning is "almost scandalously flawed" and she wants to consider more light rail routes, MPR reports.

Project planners want to start construction in 2015. Delays would add about $50 million a year to the project price tag, they say.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.

classroom

Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.

purse

Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.

Related