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Continued: Key advisory panel rejects $330 million tunnel for Southwest Corridor

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 4, 2013 - 9:48 PM

Deep tunnel rejection

The reroute and either of the two tunnel options would increase the overall cost of the light-rail project from $1.25 billion to between $1.58 billion and $1.82 billion.

Haigh said after the meeting that it was unlikely that the agency would resurrect the deep tunnel after the overwhelming voice vote against it by the Corridor Management Committee, a panel of metro leaders advising the Met Council on the light-rail options.

Hovland said the cost of the deep tunnel was “beyond reach.” McLaughlin called it “an unacceptable alternative.”

“The deep tunnel kills this project,” Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison added.

The search for reroute alternatives by Transportation Technology Center, Inc., of Pueblo, Colo., and a hydrologist analysis of the effect of a short tunnel on nearby lakes will push the date for a Met Council decision back to at least Oct. 9, Haigh said.

It marks the third time in a month that the Met Council has postponed decisions in the face of questions and pushback by officials and residents of St. Louis Park and Minneapolis about elements of the light-rail plan. The nearly 16-mile Southwest line is expected to run from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie, with construction beginning in 2015. The Met Council says there is urgency to resolving problems and obtaining consent of cities along the route this fall so that it can seek state funding for part of the project next year.

 

Pat Doyle • 612-673-4504

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