Ramsey expected to get Northstar commuter rail line station

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 15, 2011 - 11:39 PM

Meeting today will take up last funding piece for station.

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he Northstar train pulled into the Target Field station in 2010. The ballpark is the southern end of the line, which runs to Big Lake. Officials are about to give the go-ahead to add a station in Ramsey, the seventh.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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The two-year-old Northstar commuter rail line is about to arrive in the city of Ramsey.

Final approval is expected Wednesday to build a $13.2 million station in Ramsey that Anoka County and city officials expect to open in about a year, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin confirmed Tuesday.

The Counties Transit Improvement Board was to meet Wednesday morning, with the final funding piece for the Ramsey Northstar Station its primary agenda, said McLaughlin, chairman of the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority. The state already has committed $4 million to the project, the city of Ramsey has pledged $3.6 million and the Counties Transit Improvement Board is expected to finalize its $3 million contribution. Anoka County and the Metropolitan Council are contributing $1.3 million apiece.

"This will complete our funding commitment to the project," McLaughlin said, referring to the Counties Transit Improvement Board. "This will not only add ridership to Northstar, but will help with the development the city of Ramsey has put together.

"The Hwy. 10 corridor is a great growth corridor."

Ramsey has scheduled a celebration, with a special Northstar train to be greeted by school musicians when it stops in the city at 11:30 a.m. Officials will then commemorate the event before noon.

Ramsey, which hopes the Northstar station will help spur development in its COR project adjacent to Hwy. 10, recently celebrated its new veterans clinic, which opened Tuesday.

The special Northstar train will not be available for the public to ride.

The Ramsey stop will be the seventh on the 41-mile Northstar line that runs from Big Lake to the Target Field station in downtown Minneapolis. The line's other stops are Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley.

Officials in Sherburne and Stearns counties hope a Northstar Phase II will ultimately extend the line to St. Cloud or beyond, as had been originally planned. Northstar cost $317 million when it was launched in November 2009.

Paul Levy • 612-673-4419

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