SWLRT audit bill passes Legislature, awaits Walz’s signature

The Minnesota House passed an amended version of a bill to approve a legislative audit of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project on Thursday, sending the measure to the governor’s desk for final approval.

House lawmakers passed the bill by a vote of 132-1. Monday, the Senate unanimously approved a version that included a provision requiring the Metropolitan Council to notify legislative leaders any time the project is delayed by six months or more when there’s a projected cost overrun of 5% or more beyond the most recent estimate.

RELATED: Minnesota Senate approves SWLRT audit, reinsurance extension

The SWLRT project was originally estimated to cost approximately $1.2 billion and open in 2021, but Metro Transit’s recent projections put the final cost at close to $3 billion. It’s currently slated for completion in 2027.

Gov. Tim Walz put his support behind an audit last month.

RELATED: Senator calls Southwest LRT project ‘Boondoggle,’ Walz pushes forward with more LRT funding