Cancellation an Option as Costs Jump for Minneapolis' Light Rail Extension

An already controversial project got bad news earlier this week, as substantial increases in the expected cost of the Southwest LRT extension added more fuel to the fire for opponents of the project.

Read Time: 1 minute

May 3, 2015, 1:32 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"What was once a $1.66 billion price tag to extend light rail from Target Field Station to Eden Prairie is now a nearly $2 billion price tag," reports Peter Callaghan.

The increased cost is due to newly discovered engineering challenges posed by conditions of the ground along the route, according to Callaghan. The news comes at a bad time, with the project's draft environmental impact report expected for release next month. The report could include more increases in the cost of completing the project.

Callaghan also reports that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is "shocked and appalled" at the new costs. Callaghan quotes Governor Dayton directly to raise the possibility that the new costs could spell the doom of the extension project: "The continuing escalation of the costs to design and build this line raise serious questions about its viability and affordability," said Governor Dayton. 

The article includes more details about the engineering requirements that led to the increased costs, and some speculation about what happens next for the project.

Monday, April 27, 2015 in MinnPost

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of Bend, Oregon with river and old mill district

Bend Eliminates Parking Minimums

The city is complying with an Oregon state mandate that some cities have challenged in court.

January 20, 2023 - KTVZ

Sunset view over canal and downtown Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale Cuts Water Supply to Nearby Suburb

The city claims it has no responsibility to provide water to the unincorporated Maricopa County community.

January 18, 2023 - The Washington Post

Aerial view of Ogden, Utah with Wasatch Mountains in the background

Utah Could Eliminate Parking Requirements Near Transit

A proposed state bill would bar cities from requiring parking in areas adjacent to transit stations in an effort to make housing production more affordable and encourage walking and transit use.

6 hours ago - The Salt Lake Tribune

People on bikes on crowded Rue de Rivoli in Paris in 2020

Where Pandemic Bike Improvements Won Out

While some cities are reverting back to pre-pandemic street configurations, others are taking advantage of the momentum for bike and pedestrian infrastructure to make pandemic-era projects permanent.

January 29 - Momentum Magazine

Atlanta Rail Service

Atlanta Transit Plans Stall Due to Budget Concerns

With MARTA facing a potential billion dollar shortfall, the agency says it can’t fulfill its system expansion plan.

January 29 - Urbanize Atlanta