Gov. Dayton, Local Leaders Discuss SWLRT

Updated: 10/22/2013 4:31 PM By: Kate Renner

A meeting between Gov. Mark Dayton and community leaders Tuesday discussed the future of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit line.

The project is temporarily on hold until some questions get answered. The Met Council delayed their vote on a proposed route through Minneapolis last week at the request of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and the governor.

Leaders in the affected cities and transit leaders met with Dayton to discuss two main concerns: the environmental impact of a route through the Kenilworth Corridor and the feasibility of building along freight lines in Minneapolis or St. Louis Park.

"The questions that need to be answered are, what are the environmental impacts of this potential shallow tunnel through the corridor? Water quality on the natural features? Livability? Quality of life?" said Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL) Minneapolis.

"I think I can promise my constituents that we will look at this question of where freight will be routed in an open, fair and unbiased manner and let the legitimate process answer those questions," said Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL) St. Louis Park.

"There are two options: one is to keep the freight rail in Minneapolis in the Kenilworth Corridor and the other is to build a large berm in St. Louis Park. People don't feel that either of these options are good, so are there some third options that haven't been looked at yet to the west of the cities," said Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL) Chair - House Transportation Committee.

No date was decided as to when the environmental and freight impact reviews are due back.