Minneapolis LRT proceeds on county funding vote

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
Minnbeapolis Southwest Light Rail

A project to extend light rail to the Minneapolis suburbs is moving ahead, in spite of a rapidly rising price tag.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted May 31 to increase the county’s funding commitment to the Southwest Light Rail project.

The vote passed 5-2 at a special meeting, where commissioners first voted as the county board, then as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority board.

The 14.5-mile METRO Green Line Extension line connecting downtown Minneapolis to St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie is now likely to cost an extra $145 million due to higher material prices, a tight labor market and delays. It brings the Southwest Light Rail project’s total estimated construction tab to $2 billion.

The county will now fund $190 million and the railroad authority, $14 million.

Later this summer, the board is expected to vote to extend funding into 2019.


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