I happen to be by the Blake Rd light rail stop today and snapped a few phone pictures. It is really something how concrete is poured into suspended molds. The MSP area has been reluctant to put money into this sort of infrastructure– and there is plenty of money involved. But once a line is up and running, the fans show up and hop on board. It will be interesting to see how the need for commuting evolves as corporations entertain employment at a distance.
Southwest LRT at a Glance:
The approximately 14.5-mile route (PDF) will serve the growing communities of Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie.
16 new stations with connections to streets and trails will be built, attracting new residential and commercial development.
In 2014, there were approximately 64,300 jobs within ½ mile of the proposed stations and 126,800 jobs in downtown Minneapolis. By 2035, employment is expected to grow to 80,900 within ½ mile of the proposed stations and 145,300 in downtown Minneapolis – a 18% increase in employment.
In 2014, there were about 35,800 people within ½ mile of the proposed stations and 16,400 residents with access to the 5 shared stations in downtown Minneapolis. By 2035, the population within ½ mile of the proposed stations is expected to grow by 56 percent to 55,800, and the population of downtown Minneapolis is expected to grow by 117 percent increase to 35,600.
The total project budget is $2.003 billion, funded by a combination of federal, county, state and local sources.
An estimated 7,500 construction workers will be needed to build the line, with $350 million estimated construction payroll.
The total project cost is $2.003 billion. Committed funding sources for the Southwest LRT:
Hennepin County: $591.4 million
Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB): $218.9 million (provided funding until dissolution in 2017)
Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA): $199.5 million
State of Minnesota: $30.3 million
Other local contributions: $26.4 million
Eden Prairie Town Center Station: $7.7 million ($6.14 million CMAQ, $1.54 million Eden Prairie)
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will provide $928.8 million through the New Starts program with a Full Funding Grant Agreement which was signed in September 2020.The Metropolitan Council