Tremors from the ground-breaking Tuesday for Minnesota's first commuter-rail station could be felt from Coon Rapids into the future -- a future that could include a stop in Fridley.

While Coon Rapids celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony for its Northstar station at Northdale Boulevard, south of Main Street, Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart said that possible surplus money from the Northstar project could be used toward completing a station in Fridley.

"It's contingent on our federal funding, and we'd have to get permission from Washington," said Erhart, chairman of the Northstar Corridor Development Authority. "But it's possible."

A $10.6 million request for a Northstar light-rail station in Fridley was left out of the state bonding bill, but city officials still hope construction can begin on infrastructure for the station in May.

In December, the $320 million Northstar line, which is to run from Minneapolis to Big Lake, received $156.8 million in federal funding. The 41-mile commuter line is expected to open late next year, on schedule.

A groundbreaking for the station site in Big Lake is set for next week, and the groundbreaking for Elk River in August. Groundbreaking for an Anoka station is pending, Erhart said.

"This is a system that will continue and impact the entire metro area and, ultimately, the entire state of Minnesota," Erhart said.

"The commuter rail line is symbolic of how we have changed, how we work, how we go to school. Seniors will select housing in the proximity of these rail stations. This will stimulate a building spree. Buyers will want to live in the proximity of these stations, of this line."

Paul Levy • 612-673-4419