The “Gold Line” is receiving another round of criticism after the Lake Elmo City Council voted 3-2 against including the project in their city. Also known as “The Gateway Corridor” the 12-mile $485 million bus route was originally set to go through parts of Woodbury, Oakdale, and Lake Elmo, connecting the cities to St. Paul.
Lake Elmo is not the only group rejecting the project – Alpha News previously reported that a large number of citizens in Oakdale overtook a town hall on the topic back in October. What originally began as a presentation on the Gateway Corridor quickly turned in to a barage of citizens expressing their many grievances and questioning the very existence of the project.
During the meeting Oakdale resident Doug Nelson asked if it was “too late to stop the project.” Washington County employee Lyssa Leitner explained that nothing is official, saying it is, “not a done deal until the shovel hits the ground.”
The Pioneer Press reports that at the current cost levels the bus route would be more expensive per passenger “than any light-rail line in the state” and that it would rank as the state’s “second-most-expensive transportation link per passenger ever built.”
Not long ago the cost was projected to be $400 Million, but the most recent estimates in the Minnesota Senate have ballooned to the now $485 Million with 45% of the funding from the federal government, 45% from the counties, and 10% from the state. Total cost to taxpayers in Minnesota is estimated to be $267 million, not including the ongoing operation costs paid for by Metro Transit.
Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to track the progress or degradation of the Gateway Corridor. Our previous coverage on the topic can be seen here.