Southwest Light Rail Transit
Green Line Extension – Eden Prairie to Downtown Minneapolis
Alternatives for improved transit in the Southwest Corridor have been under study since the mid-1980s. In November 2009, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) recommended construction of a light rail transit (LRT) line between Eden Prairie and downtown Minneapolis. The proposed line would connect near Target Field with the Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT, in service since 2004) and the Green Line (Central Corridor LRT, entering service in 2014), as well as the Northstar commuter rail line. As currently proposed, the line would be 15.8 miles long with 17 new stations. The total project cost of $1.25 billion would be funded through a mix of federal, state and local sources.
The Southwest LRT/Green Line Extension Project is currently in the Engineering phase of project development. The Project received approval to enter Preliminary Engineering (PE) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in September 2011. In January 2013, the Council awarded contracts for Preliminary Engineering services to two companies.
The PE process will take about two years and complete about 30 percent of the design work. During this phase, the Council and project partners will: select an alignment alternative; finalize plans for station placement and design; refine estimates of project costs, benefits and impacts; finalize management plans; and identify and fully commit local funding sources.
The route of the Green Line Extension will follow the "Locally Preferred Alternative" (LPA) of light rail transit along the recommended Kenilworth-Opus-Golden Triangle alignment, which was selected by the Council in May 2010. At the same time, the Council amended the 2030 Transportation Policy Plan (TPP) to include rail along the corridor, making the project eligible for federal funding. The locally preferred alternative is one of several alignments considered for the Southwest LRT project.