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Light Rail and the U, The Continuing Saga

U Admin: Cross my palm with (a lot of) silver...

From 'CCO:

A University of Minnesota report questions the consequences of running a light rail line through the Minneapolis campus, citing concerns that vibration and electromagnetic interference from the line could damage sensitive research equipment at the school.

The report, finished this week and written by professors of engineering and medical science, noted there are more than 80 laboratories with fragile equipment in 17 buildings near Washington Avenue, the proposed light rail line route.

The report urges university administration to insist the light rail builders limit vibration and electromagnetic interference to current levels. That could be made possible by techniques that include building on a special cushioned slab of concrete or running the trains on batteries when on campus, the report said.

"The university cannot acquiesce to mitigation strategies that compromise its research mission," the report said.

The university has previously raised electromagnetic radiation concerns, as well as traffic and safety worries, about the proposed Washington Ave. route.

Peter Bell, the chairman of the Metropolitan Council, which is overseeing the light rail project, said he believed the current mitigation measures were sufficient.

"We remain hopeful that university officials will join us in working to achieve an agreement that will allow this vital regional transit improvement to go forward," he said in a prepared statement. "Their continued resistance has the very real potential to delay the project and increase its cost."

[It is pretty clear what is going on here, all the U Admin is doing now is haggling over the price.]

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