At Issue: Nov. 18 - Southwest Light Rail Gets Federal Approval; New Minn. Members of Congress Head to DC

November 18, 2018 04:53 PM

Southwest Light Rail Wins Final Federal Approval

The most expensive public works project in Minnesota history got the green light from the federal government this week. The Southwest Light Rail line will connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie through several west metro suburbs.

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The federal government is expected to pay nearly half of the estimated $2 billion cost of the project. With this approval, construction can start next year. Groundbreakings for several stops are expected to take place in the coming months.

On Thursday, the Metropolitan Council awarded the construction contract to Lunda Construction and CS McCrossan for nearly $800 million. Hennepin County approved up to $435 million for early construction on the line. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.

Minnesota's New Members of Congress Head to Washington, D.C. for 'Freshman Orientation'

Minnesota is sending five new congressional members to Washington D.C. - the most new members at one time since the 1930s. They include Democrats Angie Craig, Dean Phillips and Ilhan Omar and Republicans Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn.

Tom Hauser caught up with all five new members of Minnesota's delegation in Washington D.C. this week as they attended their new member orientation. Each member brings a unique background and skill set to the table, but all say they are eager to represent their constituents on Capitol Hill. 

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Amanda Theisen

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