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The Metropolitan Council yesterday announced it will explore alternative routes for the planned Blue Line light-rail extension in Minneapolis after failing to reach an agreement with BNSF Railway Co. to use the Class I’s right of way.
After years of discussions, Met Council, Hennepin County and other elected officials could not reach an agreement regarding collocation of light rail and freight rail in the Bottineau Corridor.
“Unfortunately, over the last four years, cooperation stopped, and the railway is unwilling to find solutions to move the project forward together,” Met Council officials said in a press release.
Now, the project will go back to planning to hopefully advance the extension without using BNSF right-of-way, officials said.
Met Council will convene a meeting of the Corridor Management Committee on Aug. 13, when project partners will discuss next steps.
The Blue Line extension was planned to operate northwest from downtown Minneapolis through north Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.