Messages from the Council Chair

White House support affirms the status of the Southwest LRT Project

October 2012
NOTE: As part of his "We Can't Wait" initiative, President Obama announced October 1 that the Southwest Light Rail Project is one of two nationally and regionally significant transit projects that will be expedited to put Americans to work building a 21st century infrastructure and providing Minnesota and Ohio with more transportation choices. See the full White House press release.

We are very pleased about today’s announcement and the continuing momentum in support of the Southwest LRT project!

Council Chair Susan Haigh
The announcement affirms the status of the Southwest LRT Project as a high-ranking and viable project, and the work we are doing with all the involved and committed partners to create a 21st century transit system.

It is very rewarding and encouraging that the project has the support at the very highest levels, including  the White House, the Federal Transit Administration and the governor’s office, which recently approved $2 million in DEED grants for projects that will create jobs, not to mention the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Hennepin County and the local units of government along the corridor.

Southwest is the most job-rich corridor in the State. Southwest LRT will not only create engineering, construction and operations jobs, but it will serve the 270,000 jobs we expect will be located along the corridor by 2030. 

The construction phase alone will generate over 3,500 construction jobs and ultimately 175 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the LRT line. The Southwest LRT project will also generate numerous private residential and commercial investments.

The announcement is especially timely because the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is set to be released Oct. 12 formally kicking off the public comment period, and proposals are to be received October 2 for preliminary engineering for the project.

This is an exciting time and opportunity for the Twin Cities region and the state of Minnesota as we continue to invest in our vitality.


Susan Haigh

October 2012