Messages from the Council Chair

Investments that will endure for generations

November 2018

Successful projects don’t happen overnight. Sometimes they don’t even happen over the course of a single decade. But as we head toward the close of the year, contractors are preparing to break ground on the largest public works project in Minnesota’s history — a project in the works for more than two decades.

Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff

Construction to extend the METRO Green Line to Eden Prairie will employ more than 7,500 people from almost every corner of the state. The project has already spurred hundreds of millions in new investment in housing and businesses that will benefit from the ridership of 34,000 people a day.

The rail beds and infrastructure will be built to last at least a half century before they will need to be replaced. The foundation of those tracks rests on the bedrock of sound community partnerships.

The Southwest LRT Project is an example of how the Met Council partners with the community. The Council’s vision for a network of regional transit corridors set the stage. The communities who would be served by transit in the Southwest Corridor determined that light rail would best meet their needs. With that guidance the Council reached out to neighborhoods and communities to design a project with local input at thousands of community meetings. As the project moved forward, hundreds of people put in hundreds of thousands of hours to make the line a reality.

I’m proud to be associated with that team. We’re building a project that will connect generations of workers to jobs, education and opportunity.

Our partnerships have created world-class parks, transit, and one of the best wastewater treatment systems in the nation. They’ve helped connect thousands of people to affordable housing and created long-range plans that benefit our entire region.

One of my last official duties will be to participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking for SWLRT. When heavy construction starts in the spring, a new Council Chair will work in partnership toward the project’s completion and opening date.

New leadership will bring new ideas to the Council as it continues the work of planning and building a prosperous region, just as it has for more than 50 years. The transit network we are building will endure well past the Council’s 100th birthday. It’s a humbling thought to know that the relationships and partnerships we’ve worked to build will last for generations to come.

Alene Tchourumoff