Blue Line Extension North of Minneapolis in Jeopardy
"A long-planned light rail line from Minneapolis to the northern suburbs has hit a big road block after the $1.5 billion blue line project lost a major partner," reports Pat Kessler.
The project in question is the Blue Line, also known as the Bottineau Blue Line, that would connect downtown Minneapolis to suburban communities to the north.
The partner in question is the BNSF railroad. "The project would share eight of its 13-mile route with BNSF Railroad, and the two sides need to agree on how to fit passenger and freight trains side by side in the same corridor," explains Kessler, but BNSF says there are too many downsides to continue planning the project.
The debacle with BNSF has enabled critics of the project planning. "Republican House Transportation Chairman Paul Torkelson says Blue Line planners 'messed up' the route selection, putting in jeopardy the entire project," according to Kessler.