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The Minneapolis region's Metropolitan Council yesterday approved an updated project scope and $1.496 billion cost estimate for the planned Metro Blue Line light-rail transit (LRT) extension, which now includes 11 stations. The council's vote means staff will now submit the project for municipal consent from Hennepin County and the corridor cities of Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park, Minn.The communities will need to give approval of the project's physical design components including track, bridges, stations, roads and support structures. The municipal consent process allows for public input on the preliminary design plans, Met Council officials said in a press release.The cities will have until early March 2016 to consider and approve the line.
The council's most recent cost figure represents a slight increase from an earlier estimate of $1.488 billion, according to the Star Tribune.The Blue Line Extension project, also referred to as the Bottineau LRT, will expand the existing line from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis into the northwest suburbs. When completed, the line will offer a one-seat ride from the Target Northern Campus in Brooklyn Park to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., with stops throughout Minneapolis and at the MSP International Airport."The Blue Line Extension will connect thousands of residents throughout our region with jobs," said Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck. "Not only will residents in the northwest metropolitan area have access to employers in downtown Minneapolis and throughout the transit system, the line provides the opportunity for reverse commuting as well, for those workers heading into the suburbs for work."A map of the Metro Blue Line Extension (Click to view a larger image.)Source: The Metropolitan Council
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