Southwest LRT passes committee vote - KMSP-TV

Southwest LRT passes committee vote

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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Southwest LRT Green Line Extension passed on a key 15-2 vote on Wednesday by the Corridor Management Committee with one opposing vote coming from Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

The light rail project includes 17 new stations and nearly 16 miles of double track that would connect major activity centers including downtown Minneapolis and Methodist Hospital.

Light rail planners with the Metropolitan Council want to build two shallow tunnels to be built in the Kenilworth corridor under the trail with light rail trains emerging for about 20 seconds between them on a new LRT bridge over the channel between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles.

Ridership is projected at nearly 30,000 people and the project is estimated to cost at least $1.67 billion.

The Southwest LRT would operate from downtown Minneapolis to St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie.

Read more: Mayors critical of proposed routes

Light rail planners made their recommendations starting at 8:30 a.m. to the Corridor Management Committee at Beth El Synagogue.

About 60 people showed up for public testimony, delaying the vote by about an hour.

After today's meeting, the Met Council will meet on April 9, and if they approve the recommended scope and budget, the project could break ground this summer.

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