Friday, August 28, 2009

St. Paul commits $5.2 million to add light rail station

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Original plans for the proposed Central Corridor light rail project had no allowances for stops at Hamline, Western, or Victoria avenues along University Avenue in St. Paul, but the city itself appears willing to fund a stop for at least one of those locations, anticipating the cost to be $5.2 million for the addition. 

St. Paul officials said the city will use a “community process” to determine the site, though it has said it would like a station at all three locations in the future.

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A Hamline Avenue stop would fall between Snelling Avenue and Lexington Parkway stations. A Victoria Avenue stop would bisect the distance between Lexington Parkway and Dale Street stations. A stop at Western Avenue would be located between Dale Street and Rice Street stations. University Avenue parallels Interstate 94 (see nearby map).

The funding source for the work remains uncertain, but sometime to identify a source is available, according to Nancy Homans, policy director for St. Paul Mayor Christopher B. Coleman.

“One of the things that is helpful is they won’t need the money until they do the construction, so that would be 2010, 2011, or 2012. So we have some time,” Homans said.

The Central Corridor project, now projected to cost $941 million, is targeted for completion in 2014.