Southwest LRT Map

This is the proposed route of the Southwest Light Rail line. Last night, St. Louis Park City Hall was packed by residents spoke out against plans for the Southwest Corridor line. But it isn’t light rail that worries them, it’s heavy freight trains that would be rerouted there.

Al Boyce of St. Louis Park also says he supports the Southwest Corridor Light Rail project. But at Wednesday’s meeting he stood outside city hall with dozens of other protestors who were upset with the plans.

Boyce lives a block and a half away from the freight lines and said putting longer trains on the existing right of way would be disastrous.

"The railroad that goes through St. Louis Park was never meant for this kind of traffic. It meanders and goes within 50 feet of some homes," Boyce said. "To remediate it properly they would have to take out vast swaths of St. Louis Park homes to make a corridor wide enough for this to occur."

The public will have another chance to comment on the draft environmental impact statement Nov. 29 at Eden Prairie City Hall.

The Southwest Corridor project is expected to cost $1.25 billion, half of which would come from the federal government.

If Congress, and state and local governments OK the money and the Metropolitan Council sorts out the details of which trains go where, the Southwest Corridor light rail line could open in 2018.

Read more from reporter Jess Mador

Gov. Mark Dayton announced today the winners in a $47.5 million statewide competition designed to spur job creation. The largest sum goes to St. Paul to build a ballpark for the St. Paul Saints.
Other projects getting money:
• Metropolitan Council, $2 million for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Line
• Litchfield, $2.3 million for wastewater infrastructure improvements
• Hector, $1.1 million for wastewater system improvements
• Lonsdale, $1.5 million for street and utilities improvements for a new business park
• Redwood/Renville Solid Waste, $1.9 million for a material recovery facility
• Hutchinson, $763,750 for small business incubator
• Duluth, $8.5 million for downtown development and a public parking ramp
• Wadena, $4.2 million for a public health and wellness facility
• St. Paul, $25 million for the St. Paul Regional Ballpark where the Saints will play
Read more from reporters Curtis Gilbert and Elizabeth Dunbar here.
(Image: An artist’s rendering of a proposed Saint Paul Saints ballpark, courtesy of the St. Paul Saints)

Gov. Mark Dayton announced today the winners in a $47.5 million statewide competition designed to spur job creation. The largest sum goes to St. Paul to build a ballpark for the St. Paul Saints.

Other projects getting money:

Metropolitan Council, $2 million for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Line

Litchfield, $2.3 million for wastewater infrastructure improvements

Hector, $1.1 million for wastewater system improvements

Lonsdale, $1.5 million for street and utilities improvements for a new business park

Redwood/Renville Solid Waste, $1.9 million for a material recovery facility

Hutchinson, $763,750 for small business incubator

Duluth, $8.5 million for downtown development and a public parking ramp

Wadena, $4.2 million for a public health and wellness facility

St. Paul, $25 million for the St. Paul Regional Ballpark where the Saints will play

Read more from reporters Curtis Gilbert and Elizabeth Dunbar here.

(Image: An artist’s rendering of a proposed Saint Paul Saints ballpark, courtesy of the St. Paul Saints)

The proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit route could run along the existing line at Excelsior Blvd. just east of Highway 169 in Hopkins, pictured here in a photography by Jeff Thompson.
But it’s not a sure thing. Legislators are debating whether to fund the proposed Southwest light rail line in this year’s bonding bill.
Gov. Mark Dayton has made expanding light rail in the southwest metro a top priority this year. But House transportation leaders this week failed to include the light rail line from Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis on a list of recommended projects.
Read more from reporter Jess Mador.

The proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit route could run along the existing line at Excelsior Blvd. just east of Highway 169 in Hopkins, pictured here in a photography by Jeff Thompson.

But it’s not a sure thing. Legislators are debating whether to fund the proposed Southwest light rail line in this year’s bonding bill.

Gov. Mark Dayton has made expanding light rail in the southwest metro a top priority this year. But House transportation leaders this week failed to include the light rail line from Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis on a list of recommended projects.

Read more from reporter Jess Mador.

From reporter Rupa Shenoy:
The Chang-mi Dancers (above) perform at Taste of Little Mekong in St. Paul this past weekend. The event launched a branding campaign to  bring attention to Asian-owned and operated businesses affected by  upcoming light rail construction.
The East Asian community on the east end of University Avenue is ready  to be known as a branded destination for non-Asians to visit and  explore: Little Mekong. Businesses along the strip will get new façades that reflect  East Asian themes. East Asian public art will complete the  transformation.
"The reasons why we chose the name Mekong is because that is a river who flows through several countries in Asia," said Tran Nhon, board member of Asian Economic Development Association.
Read more here.
(MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)

From reporter Rupa Shenoy:

The Chang-mi Dancers (above) perform at Taste of Little Mekong in St. Paul this past weekend. The event launched a branding campaign to bring attention to Asian-owned and operated businesses affected by upcoming light rail construction.

The East Asian community on the east end of University Avenue is ready to be known as a branded destination for non-Asians to visit and explore: Little Mekong. Businesses along the strip will get new façades that reflect East Asian themes. East Asian public art will complete the transformation.

"The reasons why we chose the name Mekong is because that is a river who flows through several countries in Asia," said Tran Nhon, board member of Asian Economic Development Association.

Read more here.

(MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)

"Light rail" no more. Meet "Metro."
Under a plan the Metropolitan Council approved Wednesday, the light rail  and rapid transit lines will be known as “Metro” once the Central  Corridor line opens in 2014.
Read more here.

"Light rail" no more. Meet "Metro."

Under a plan the Metropolitan Council approved Wednesday, the light rail and rapid transit lines will be known as “Metro” once the Central Corridor line opens in 2014.

Read more here.