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Northstar commuter-rail authority secures 2005 funding

It’s official: The state of Minnesota will provide funding for the Northstar commuter-rail project this year. On Monday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bonding bill that includes $37.5 million in Northstar funding — the first time the state has provided "significant" dollars, according to a prepared statement. The project also has received $44 million in local funding this year.

"The [state funds] allow us to proceed into final design, significantly improve our standing with the Federal Transit Administration and keep the Northstar commuter rail on schedule for beginning service in late 2008," said Dan Erhart, chair of the Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority.

The Northstar Corridor’s 40-mile first phase would run along highways 10 and 47 between Minneapolis and Big Lake. Under a proposed second phase, the line would extend from Big Lake to St. Cloud.

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More News from 4/13/2005