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9/6/2011



Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA OKs Minneapolis LRT corridor's engineering phase


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On Sept. 2, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) gave the Metropolitan Council the green light to proceed to the preliminary engineering phase for the Southwest Corridor light-rail transit (LRT) project.

Approval to begin the preliminary engineering phase is a federal requirement governing the New Starts program, FTA officials said in a Sept. 2 letter to Metropolitan Council Chairwoman Susan Haigh.

The project calls for building a 15.8-mile, double-track light-rail line from the Target Field station on the eastern end of the route in downtown Minneapolis through several suburbs, including Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park. The line would terminate in Eden Prairie on the route’s western end.

The project would link the existing Hiawatha LRT and Northstar commuter-rail lines, and Central Corridor LRT line, which currently is under construction.

The Metropolitan Council is seeking $625 million in New Starts funds to help pay for the $1.3 billion project, which would be the third major light-rail line in the Twin Cities.


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