The following article by Janet Moore was published in the August 6, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.
Judge Passes on Request to Halt Southwest Light-rail Line, Criticizes Met Council
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
A federal judge declined to rule on a request by Southwest light-rail line opponents to halt the $1.74 billion project because it has allegedly violated federal and state laws.
Still, the legal battle over the 14½-mile line continues, and U.S. District Judge John Tunheim on Tuesday had some harsh words for the Metropolitan Council’s handling of what would be the state’s most expensive transit project.
“Through much of this process, the Met Council has had a clear favorite route for [Southwest light rail]” — at the expense of other alternatives, Tunheim wrote. And, by reaching a deal regarding freight traffic along the line, “the Met Council has come dangerously close to impermissibly prejudicing the ongoing environmental review process,” he noted.
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