The following article by Janet Moore was published in the May 26, 2016 issue of the Star Tribune.
Without State Funding, Southwest Light Rail’s Future in Doubt
$130M has been spent so far on the light-rail line.
Photo: Met Council, Star Tribune
A rendering of the Southwest Light Rail train passing through the Kenilworth Lagoon.
The fate of the Southwest light-rail line is in doubt after it failed to win $135 million in funding from the Legislature — and no one can say how the controversial line will move forward without that critical state support.
The state’s share of the $1.79 billion project, which would link Minneapolis to Eden Prairie, was supposed to be the final piece of local funding needed to win $895 million in federal matching dollars. But partisan infighting at the Capitol this session skewered any hope of compromise on transportation — for now.
Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said if the Legislature fails to “act in any affirmative way” to fund the final 10 percent share for the Southwest line, “it’s dead.” Dibble, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said efforts over the past two years to craft a compromise package on transportation funding has been a “fool’s errand.”
To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune http://strib.mn/1Ucdd4h