Minnesota’s Southwest Light Rail line has suffered a setback that will delay its opening.
Poor soil conditions where tunnel construction is needed will call for a stabilizing wall which was not included in the original plan. Also, a protective wall will be needed to provide more separation of Southwest train cars from freight trains.
“Over the course of the 2020 construction season, the project staff and our contractor, Lunda-McCrossan Joint Venture, encountered unforeseen conditions in the Minneapolis segment of the alignment, which will take longer to overcome,” said a Metropolitan Council news release.
The unforeseen conditions will prevent the line from opening in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota House Transportation Committee is in the midst of executing a series of meetings on funding a two-year budget. Transportation experts from the University of Minnesota talked about the impact of the pandemic on public transit and vehicle traffic.
In Minneapolis-St. Paul, North Star Commuter Rail is reporting that ridership is down 96 percent overall. Light-rail use has dropped 70 percent.
House Transportation Committee Chair Frank Hornstein says there will be a recovery in transit ridership, but when that will happen is uncertain.