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9/21/2016



Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA OKs environmental review for Minneapolis light-rail extension


A Metro Transit Blue Line travels through the snow in downtown Minneapolis.
Photo – Metro Transit's Flickr account

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has signed off on the environmental review for Metro Transit's Blue Line light-rail extension.

In its record of decision signed Monday, the FTA noted that the Minneapolis-area extension has satisfied the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The next step in the process is for the Metropolitan Council to determine the adequacy of the project's final environmental impact statement.

The council is slated to make that decision on Sept. 28. That action will conclude the state environmental review process under Minnesota rules, Met Council officials said in a press release.

After the council votes, project planners will ask the FTA to authorize the extension's entry into the engineering phase. The project's design then will advance over the next year, with a request for federal funding expected in spring 2017, said Met Council Chair Adam Duininck.

The proposed 13-mile route would travel from downtown Minneapolis through Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park, Minn. The alignment would be primarily at grade and would feature 11 stations.


A map of the Blue Line Extension, which is also known as the Bottineau Light-Rail Transit project
Source: Met Council



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