Meeting Outlines Costs of Options for Southwest LRT

Updated: 07/18/2013 10:55 AM By: Leslie Dyste

A meeting was held in Minneapolis Wednesday night on costs of the Southwest Light Rail Transit Line.

The LRT Green Line Extension will go from downtown Minneapolis through St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie.

There are a total of eight options the Metropolitan Council is considering with a wide range of costs.

Over the past two months, 800 people have attended 11 open houses on the project. Back in May, six options for re-routing freight rail traffic in the Kenilworth neighborhood of Minneapolis were announced. The other two options are to relocate the freight rail lines to Saint Louis Park.

Since then, those options have been revised by project engineers. As a result the number of homes expected to be taken down have been significantly reduced or eliminated.

The options range from simply relocating trails for about $120 million, to building a tunnel under Kenilworth for $420 million.

Ultimately, tax dollars will pay for it all with 50 percent coming from the federal government. The Counties Transit Improvement Board picks up 30 percent and 10 percent each comes from the Transportation Department and Hennepin County Railroad Authority.

The Met Council says it is now looking for alternative funding sources to cover some of the extra costs that were not included in the project's original $1.25 billion estimated budget.

It will be a month before anything is finalized.

Click here to read more about the cost estimates.