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The Metropolitan Council and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff reached an agreement late last week that will allow the proposed Southwest light-rail transit project known as the Green Line Extension to cross the Kenilworth Channel.The park board staff and legal counsel will recommend to park board commissioners to support a light-rail bridge over the channel. The agencies' memorandum of understanding (MOU) would feature a more direct park board role in the proposed bridges' design, as well as earlier involvement in any light-rail project that would affect park land and resources, according to a press release issued by both agonies.The MOU will allow the Southwest LRT and future light-rail projects to move the environmental review process more smoothly, council officials said. The Metropolitan Council and park board are slated to act on the agreement at meetings this week and next week.Additionally, the council agreed to pay the park board 50 percent of engineering costs — not to exceed $250,000 — incurred during the board's earlier exploration of a tunnel as a possible option.The Metropolitan Council is developing the Southwest light-rail line, a proposed 16-mile extension of the Green Line, from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.
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