MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Hennepin County Board Commissioners have approved another $100 million to help fund the Southwest Light Rail in Minneapolis.
Another $100 million has been approved by Hennepin County Board Commissioners for the Green Line light rail extension in Hennepin County. According to a report from the Star Tribune, this marks the 11th time the Board has amended a grant agreement with the Metropolitan Council. The Council oversees the project, which is at an estimated $2.86 billion. In 2023, it was identified that there was a $340 million cost overrun, and this $100 million helps cover some of that cost. In addition, the Met Council will add $150 million in federal funds to also help cover it.
According to the report, both Hennepin County and the Federal Transit Authority have each committed more than $1 billion to the project with funds also coming in from other state and local sources. Hennepin County will use money from a “$20/vehicle excise tax and a half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation projects to pay for its portion.”
RT&S has covered the delays and costs of the Green Line extension between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. When the project was approved back in 2011 for federal funding, the Met Council “estimated it would cost $2 billion and be operational by 2018.” Now, it’s expected to be up and running by 2027 with an estimated higher cost of $2.86 billion.
However, Kevin Anderson, a commissioner, was the only one to vote against the increase because it was “too much of a financial burden on the county.” He went on to say “Hennepin County has paid its obligation. . . It feels like it’s another year, another $100 million dollars.”
In response, Board Chair and commissioner Debbie Goettel shared the frustration and noted “that many infrastructure projects across the county have experienced cost overruns.”