Southwest light rail groundbreaking scheduled for Friday

November 30, 2018

A ceremonial groundbreaking event will be held Friday afternoon just as construction begins on the $2 billion Southwest light-rail line.

The nearly 15-mile line is slated to connect downtown Minneapolis with Eden Prairie, traveling through St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Minnetonka along the way. Passenger service is expected to begin in 2023.

Construction on the line the largest public works project in state history will begin in December and ramp up this winter. Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Council awarded a $799 million bid to build the line to a joint venture, Lunda/C.S. McCrossan.

The bid award was made possible after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) notified the Met Council that it can begin spending local money to start the project with the expectation that federal money will be available later for reimbursement.

The federal government is expected to pay $929 million toward the project.

Fridays groundbreaking will be attended by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota House Speaker-elect Melissa Hortman, Hennepin County Board Chair Jan Callison, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Hopkins Mayor Molly Cummings, Met Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff, Met Council Member Gail Dorfman and Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jonathan Weinhagen.

Janet Moore 612-673-7752 @StribMoore

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.