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The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday approved light rail for the 13-mile Bottineau Transitway between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park, Minn., an action that marks an important next step toward building a regional transit system.The council amended the region's 2030 Transportation Policy Plan to include light-rail transit as the mode of choice for the corridor, and selected the locally preferred alternative route along West Broadway Avenue in Brooklyn Park, the BNSF Railway Co.'s corridor, and Olson Memorial Highway/Trunk Highway 55, said council officials in a press release."Bottineau is key to the region's future development and continued economic success," said Chairwoman Susan Haigh.The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and corridor constituents recommended the Bottineau alternative route to the council. With Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park at either end, the corridor passes through the cities of Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal.The Bottineau light-rail line is estimated to cost $1 billion in year 2017 dollars. Capital costs for the project are expected to be covered by the Counties Transit Improvement Board's transit sales tax, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, the state of Minnesota and the Federal Transit Administration.
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