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Community meetings for Southwest LRT project set for this week

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: January 7, 2014 - 10:06 AM

The Metropolitan Council will hold two meetings this week to present information about three studies currently underway concerning Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

Staff will talk about the scope of the studies analyzing alternatives for relocating freight rail lines, how construction will impact Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles, and landscaping and greenscaping in the Kenilworth area of Minneapolis.

Meetings will take place from  to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kenwood Community Center, 2101 Franklin Av. W. in Minneapolis. There also is one from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center, 3700 Monterey Drive.

The meetings are meant to be educational, the Met Council said, with the primary purpose to allow interested stakeholders an opportunity to learn about the studies and talk with elected officials. Final drafts of the studies will be released later in January and more public feedback will be accepted then, the Met Council said.

The Southwest Light Rail line will run from downtown Minneapolis through St. Louis Park and to the southwestern suburbs of Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. The proposed 15.8-mile line will have 17 stations and stop at places such as the Opus/Golden Triangle employment area, Methodist Hospital, Eden Prairie Center and near the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. The line is estimated to cost $1.55 billion.

The line has had its share of controversy. A big sticking point is where to relocate freight rail lines in southwest Minneapolis and St. Louis Park, and whether nearly a mile of tunnels in the corridor should be built.

In October, Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday called for greater “citizen participation” in shaping the line, which stands to be the biggest transit project in the Twin Cities.

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