Southwest Light Rail Project Gets Key Federal Approval

November 14, 2018 10:17 PM

The Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit announced Wednesday that the Federal Transit Administration has granted a Letter of No Prejudice, clearing the path to begin construction on the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project.

The 14.5-mile line will connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. The letter granted by the FTA makes early construction work on the project eligible for federal reimbursement upon award of the Full Funding Grant Agreement, which is anticipated in 2019, a release said.


The grant means the federal government will pay almost half - $929 million - of the project's expected $2.003 billion cost.

The letter also means the Met Council can award a construction contract. The plan is to vote on awarding the contract at a meeting Thursday.

Lunda/C. S. McCrossan has bid more than $799 million. It is the only company still in the running after another company elected to drop out of the process.

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Early construction this winter could include staffing and equipment mobilization, site clearance, demolition and utility work, the release said.

Officials hope to have the line operating by 2023.

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Frank Rajkowski

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