LRT April 3 opening delayed

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February 23, 2004 // UPDATED 9:18 am - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Threat of a Metro Transit bus driver strike has delayed the unveiling of the Hiawatha light-rail transit (LRT) line planned for April 3.

The postponement is indefinite and it's not clear when officials plan to reschedule LRT's much-awaited grand opening.

The LRT train operators are members of the bus drivers' union, which prompted officials to push back opening day.

Construction and train testing, however, has not been disrupted by the potential strike, said Josh Collins, community outreach specialist for the Hiawatha Project Office.

"We won't miss a beat," he said.

However, for now, the strike threat has put a damper on party planning. Officials had been meeting with neighborhood leaders near the stations to plan activities in connection with the first day of service.

Metro Transit officials were set to begin partial service on the line, carrying passengers from Downtown's Warehouse District to Fort Snelling. Full service on the 12-mile line is set for December, when the line will link Downtown with the Mall of America.

Construction on the LRT line began more than three years ago.