Budget deal could fund Twin Cities LRT project

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MINNEAPOLIS — A compromise on the federal budget reached over the weekend could be good news for the Twin Cities transit: it includes funding for the Southwest Light Rail project.

The compromise, which has not gotten final approval from Congress, would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. Southwest would receive $10 million from the Federal Transit Administration. The budget includes the project as one expected to receive a full-funding grant agreement between federal and Minnesota authorities. That agreement would include over $900 million in federal support for the project over the course of construction.

The agency is on track to make submit its application for the agreement later this year – likely sometime in the summer. Once approved, construction could begin this fall. Service is expected to begin in the first half of 2021 on the $1.9-billion, 14.5-mile extension of the current Green Line from Target Field Station in downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.

The Metropolitan Council has been proceeding with the project with local funds, some of which will be reimbursed once federal money is received. The council has approved the purchase of rail cars and has been holding briefings for potential contractors.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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