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2/14/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Central Corridor group outlines most feasible option for Twin Cities' light-rail line


The Central Corridor LRT Project group considered several options for building a light-rail line linking downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. But after reviewing plans, only one of those options would meet federal cost requirements and be operable.

Yesterday, project officials presented the optimal option to the Metropolitan Council. The most feasible alternative calls for a diagonal route running through downtown St. Paul and underground infrastructure for three future University Avenue stations. The $909.1 million project also would require the construction of three-car platforms at stations to meet future demand, combining two stations, modifying the Washington Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River and street-level operations along Washington Avenue or along a transit mall through the University of Minnesota East Bank.

The Metropolitan Council must approve a plan at its Feb. 27 meeting to give project staff enough time to complete preliminary engineering by August’s end and meet the Federal Transit Administration’s application deadline to request to enter final engineering in 2009.

Construction on the 11-mile light-rail corridor is scheduled to begin in 2010 and be complete in 2014. The line would connect with the Hiawatha light-rail line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and soon-to-be-built Northstar commuter-rail line at a new Minneapolis multimodal station.


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