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Continued: Tensions rise as Twin Cities nears decision on Southwest Corridor light-rail line

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 27, 2013 - 10:34 PM

Lilligren said the city has expressed those concerns to Met Council staff members. “I think there will be ongoing negotiations,” he said.

In St. Louis Park, city ­officials seem unmoved by a Met Council offer to drop a planned reroute of freight through its high school football stadium and instead route it near the stadium at a cost of up to $290 million.

“I can’t say that’s really changed our City Council’s official position on this,” said City Manager Tom Harmening, noting that St. Louis Park insists that keeping the freight in Minneapolis is preferable to any reroute.

Transportation maze

A web of community and business groups and government agencies will take up the freight dispute in the coming weeks, although not always decisively.

The Southwest LRT Community Advisory Committee has dozens of members and was co-chaired by Munt, who also is a Metropolitan Council member. It was the panel that mulled the freight issue Thursday night in St. Louis Park in a joint meeting with another Southwest LRT panel, the ­Business Advisory Committee.

St. Louis Park representatives were sometimes at odds with others on the panel over freight plans. A woman reminded everyone that they would act on consensus and not vote. A man wondered how they could establish a consensus without voting. Someone wrote major concerns on an easel for conveying later to other groups.

The freight issue will be taken up early next month by the Southwest LRT Corridor Management Committee, composed of mayors of Southwest Corridor cities, some Hennepin County commissioners and other officials.

Edina Mayor Jim Hovland said he expects the management committee to vote on whether to recommend that the Metropolitan Council keep the freight in Minneapolis or relocate it to St. Louis Park.

“I can’t imagine that any suburban mayor is going to recommend relocation,” Hovland said.

 

Pat Doyle • 612-673-4504

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  • The Cedar Lake Trail, alongside a current freight train track that has been a proposed site for the Southwest Corridor light rail line in St. Louis Park.

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