Light-Rail – A Federal Beneficiary
The Minnesota Central Corridor may receive $20 million dollar earmark as part of a $410 billion dollar bill that Congress may roll out this week. It is a bill that has already received heavy Republican opposition, but will most likely pass shortly. It will be voted on in the Senate tomorrow and was addressed in the House yesterday.
This money may push organizers out of the planning stage as many outstanding issues still pose a barrier to ground-breaking. This includes concerns of noise and vibration from the University of Minnesota and MPR, in addition to traffic concerns along University and Washington Avenue.
The total project will cost $915 million over four years, so the federal dollars are around just 2% of the cost but according to the Metropolitan Council to may be the hump that allows the project to obtain approval from the Federal Transit Administration since the Council already has $75.2 million with much of the remainder also be committed.
So despite opposition to this project, it may have just gotten the momentum to move forward.