At the end of January, the Metropolitan Council released a draft study conducted by independent consultants which looked at possible relocation options of freight rail service to make way for the proposed Southwest light rail line from Eden Prairie to Minneapolis. You can read the draft report here.
After hearing details about the report, I am pleased and optimistic that it appears there may be a viable relocation option on the table.
Last year we were told that the only two options on the table were a two-story tall berm in St. Louis Park and two “cut and cover” shallow tunnels in Minneapolis, both of which were going to be very expensive and come with heavy impacts on our communities. That’s a pretty bleak and expensive set of choices.
With this report, we now have better options to explore. While I know there is still no outcome that everybody will love, for the first time, we have options that allow us to spread the burden among all of our partners.
Nobody is going to get everything they want – not Minneapolis, not Saint Louis Park – but this report gives us hope that we can find a solution that benefits everyone. I look forward to digging into this report further and hearing from my constituents.
I encourage everyone who is interested in this project to attend a community meeting, where the consultants will present this report, in addition to two others released last month. One was an analysis of potential impacts on water resources with light rail operating in shallow tunnels along the Kenilworth Corridor and the other was a tree and vegetation inventory of the Kenilworth Corridor. After the presentations, there will be opportunities for public testimony.
Minneapolis Town Hall Community meeting
- Monday, February 10
- 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
- Dunwoody College of Technology | Decker Auditorium
- 818 Dunwoody Boulevard, Minneapolis
St. Louis Park Town Hall Community meeting
- Wednesday, February 12
- 6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
- St. Louis Park Senior High School
- 6425 West 33rd Street, St. Louis Park
If you’re unable to attend these meetings, you can also submit public comment on the draft reports via mail or email until February 21 by going to www.swlrt.org. Final reports are expected in early March, and the Metropolitan Council is expected to take a final vote later that month.
I look forward to hearing more from my constituents as we move forward on this important project.