Southwest Light Rail Project Gets Green Light

Final Design Phase Can Now Begin

St. Paul, MN – The Federal Transit Administration gave engineers the green light on Wednesday to start the final design phase of the project.

This puts the 14.5 mile extension connecting Minneapolis and Eden Prairie on track to begin construction in 2017.  

Earlier this month the SWLRT project coordinators hosted an open house for contractors interested in bidding out the job. Over 200 eager contractors attended the event. The project will start receiving heavy construction bids in early 2017.

With the latest go-ahead, the project now faces the final push for financing. Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck announced they are on track to apply in February for the Full Funding Grant Agreement. If the project were to receive the Full Funding Grant Agreement, the FTA would be expected to cover half of the $1.8 billion expenditure. The project hopes to have federal commitment by July 2017.

If all goes as planned, the Southwest Light Rail is scheduled to open in 2021.

Christine Bauman