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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metropolitan Council, University of Minnesota reach deal on light-rail project


Yesterday, representatives of the Metropolitan Council and University of Minnesota reached an agreement on a plan to protect university research facilities from vibration and electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by the Central Corridor light-rail project.

After a series of mediation sessions, the agreement specifies the mitigation systems that will be used to protect university labs; establishes performance standards for those systems; provides for testing and monitoring to ensure compliance; and provides for remedies if the standards are not met, Metropolitan Council officials said in a prepared statement.

The agreement calls for placing floating slabs under about 1,450 feet of both tracks at various locations along Washington Avenue to absorb train-caused, ground-borne vibration and installing a dual-split power supply beneath about 3,150 feet of track along Washington Avenue.

As part of the pact, the university will grant the temporary and permanent easements required for the project and drop a lawsuit it filed against the project in September 2009.

The 11-mile, $957 million light-rail line would operate on University and Washington avenues between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, connecting with the existing Hiawatha line near the Metrodome. Construction already is under way and is scheduled for completion in 2014.