Council Approves Southwest Light Rail Transit Design


The following article by Dylan Thomas was published in the October 8-21, 2015 edition of the Southwest Journal.

Council Approves Southwest Light Rail Transit Design


File photo


Designs for Southwest Light Rail Transit won Minneapolis approval despite lingering concerns
over plans to tunnel through the Kenilworth Corridor.

The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to approve the pared-back design for the $1.7-billion Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

The city’s OK was granted despite lingering doubts over the Metropolitan Council’s plan to run the light rail trains through a tunnel beneath Minneapolis’ Kenilworth Corridor. Council Member Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) predicted failure resulting in light rail trains running at-grade alongside freight trains, the exact outcome the city sought to avoid when it went into mediation with Met Council last summer.

Goodman, though, was on the losing side of the 10–3 vote to grant municipal consent for the 14.5-mile Green Line extension from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. Council Member Cam Gordon (Ward 2) and Council President Barb Johnson (Ward 4) joined her in voting against.

Met Council has now secured approvals from all five cities along the light rail route, as well as Hennepin County, for a second time. The agency initiated a second round of municipal consent votes after cutting two stations and more than a mile of track from its plans this summer.

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Council approves Southwest Light Rail Transit