Eden Prairie Offers Option For Southwest Line

The following article by Cali Owings was published in the June 24, 2015 issue of Finance and Commerce.

Eden Prairie Offers Option For Southwest Line

A pitch from Eden Prairie to end the future Southwest Light Rail Transit line at the Southwest Station is gaining support from other stakeholders, but it’s not clear if it would bring the overall project cost down to its $1.65 billion budget.

Officials from the 16-mile corridor on Wednesday discussed options to cut $341 million from the latest $2 billion cost estimate, inching closer to consensus on reductions to the line. The line will run between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, with stops in St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Minnetonka.

Eden Prairie’s proposal would remove the Mitchell Road station in the city and end the line at Southwest Station on Technology Drive. Eden Prairie also wants to “defer” or delay construction of the Town Center Station near the Eden Prairie Center Mall to the east of the Southwest Station. Deferring that station means it would be still included in ridership models, but may not be built by opening day.