The Southwest light-rail line won an endorsement this week from President Obama, who proposed $125 million for the project in his 2017 budget.

Last year, Obama recommended $150 million for Southwest, but only $5 million was allocated.

Still, Metropolitan Council Chairman Adam Duininck cheered the news in a statement Wednesday. "The president's budget demonstrates the federal government's belief in the strong merits of this project," he said.

The federal government is to pay half of the project's $1.79 billion cost — the most expensive public works project in state history. The rest will be paid by local sources. So far, with commitments from the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and earlier funding from the state, the project has 83 percent of its local funding, totaling $745 million.

The Met Council is seeking the remaining $135 million in local dollars from the Legislature.

The 14.5-mile line will run from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie with stops in St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Minnetonka.

Janet Moore