The $2.7 billion project's Corridor Management Committee, an advisory group, met Wednesday. Here are the biggest takeaways:

  • Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle said Wednesday the council and project officials were "forthright" with the state's Legislative Auditor, which is probing Southwest's cost overruns and delays.

Legislative Auditor Judy Randall said during a recent legislative hearing that the council, which is building Southwest, wasn't as "cooperative" as other state agencies. But no subpoenas were necessary.

  • The Legislative Auditor is probing Southwest's cost overruns and delays and more is coming. The third of four reports, this one on the construction change-order process, is expected by the end of May. The final report, another financial audit, will be out by late summer, Zelle said.
  • Southwest's price tag remains at $2.7 billion, making it the most expensive public works project in state history. But that's based on some cost assumptions related to ongoing negotiations with the civil and systems contractors. So $2.7 billion isn't final, but there is $144 million in contingency. Also, that doesn't include recent work stoppages, including one in February when construction of a secant wall in Minneapolis' Kenilworth corridor near the Cedar Isles condos ran into an "impediment" underground.
  • Said "impediment" turned out to be concrete that is attached to a tunnel under the condos, which were originally built as grain silos in the early 1900s. The "impediment" was sawed out and hauled away. Southwest Project Director Jim Alexander called the "impediment" a "nothingburger," but noted, "it did hold us up a little bit."
  • The construction of a special secant wall for the Kenilworth tunnel, which will provide extra support near the Cedar Isles condos, is complete. Overall tunnel construction is ongoing. Cedar Lake Parkway will reopen this summer.
  • The Met Council is still saying Southwest passenger service will begin in 2027. Just a reminder: It's an extension of the existing Green Line that will connect downtown Minneapolis with Eden Prairie.