Serving Key Employment and Residential Areas in the Southwest Corridor
The 15.8-mile Southwest LRT Project (METRO Green Line Extension) will extend the METRO Green Line (Central Corridor LRT) from downtown Minneapolis through the rapidly growing southwestern communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. This area, known as the Southwest Corridor, contains a concentration of businesses including several of the state’s largest employers.
The map below shows the preliminary design for track alignment and stations as approved by the Metropolitan Council in April 2014. This route generally follows the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) selected by the Metropolitan Council in 2010; adjustments to the LPA were made during Project Development to improve transit operations and accommodate local conditions.
The Southwest LRT project prepared a narrated visualization of the Locally Preferred Alternative in 2012, showing an aerial view of a journey from Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis along the proposed route. This visualization does not reflect adjustments made to the Locally Preferred Alternative during Project Development. The visualization will be updated in 2014.
The route of the Green Line Extension was selected to help meet the current and future transportation needs of the region.
More than 210,000 jobs and 60,000 people in 31,000 households are presently located within one-half mile of the proposed Southwest LRT stations. The Southwest Corridor is projected to add 30,000 households and 60,000 new jobs by 2030—more than any other part of the metropolitan area except the Central Corridor.
Several key roadways serving the corridor have received high mobility deficiency ratings from MnDOT, and no major expansions or improvements are planned for the corridor after the completion of the Hwy. 169//I-494 interchange. As the numbers of people and jobs in the corridor increase, traffic congestion will worsen, making the area less economically attractive—unless new transportation options are created. A comprehensive evaluation of alternatives showed that light rail transit is the best option for maintaining mobility in the Southwest Corridor, connecting employers and workers and mitigating the adverse economic impacts of increasing traffic congestion.