Friday, September 14, 2012

Minnesota Southwest light rail receives state grant

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released $47.5 million in competitive business development grants, including $2 million for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

The $2 million will be used to continue design and engineering of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project extending the Central Corridor LRT line 15 miles with 17 new stations from downtown Minneapolis to the southwest suburbs of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. This will serve 30,000 riders per day and provide improved transit access to the 60,000 additional jobs to be created in the southwest corridor by 2030. The project will create 150 immediate design and engineering jobs.

The construction phase will generate more than 3,500 construction jobs and ultimately 175 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the LRT line. The Southwest LRT project will generate numerous private residential and commercial investments. Additionally, this $2 million DEED award will leverage nine times more funding from the Transit Improvement Board, Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and the Federal Transit Administration.

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