Hearings coming up for Southwest LRT

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August 11, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

People have a chance to comment about the Southwest Light Rail Transit project at public hearings planned for Wednesday, Aug. 13 and Tuesday, Aug. 19.

The Aug. 13 hearing will be before the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority/Metropolitan Council at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, at 5:30 p.m.

The City of Minneapolis is hosting the Aug. 19 hearing at 6 p.m. at City Hall, room 317, 350 S. 5th St. Written comments will also be accepted through Aug. 19 at councilcomment@minneapolismn.gov

The Minneapolis City Council is expected to vote on municipal consent for the project Aug. 29. The Hennepin County Board, meanwhile, will vote on approving municipal consent at a special meeting Aug. 19.

City and Metropolitan Council leaders announced an agreement on the Southwest LRT project July 8 after closed-door negotiations mediated by a federal magistrate. The deal eliminated a tunnel planned for north of the water channel connecting Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles and restored plans for a station at 21st Street.  The new proposal also reduces the project cost by about $30 million, bringing the anticipated cost to $1.653 billion.

The Southwest LRT line would be an extension of the Green Line, connecting downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. Pending final approvals, the line is expected to be ready for passengers in 2019.