Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County release METRO Blue Line Extension route recommendation for public comment

Date: Monday, April 18, 2022

Updated May 18, 2022 with extended deadline

The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County are pleased to announce the release of a route recommendation for the METRO Blue Line Extension. After carefully reviewing community input and findings from technical analyses completed to date, the project recommends extending the existing Blue Line light rail transit from Target Field station along West Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis to County Road 81 in Crystal and Robbinsdale, and along West Broadway Avenue in Brooklyn Park. 

This recommendation comes from nearly two years of community outreach, technical analysis, and stakeholder interaction, and is a major milestone for this transformational investment in our community.

“The METRO Blue Line Extension is an essential part of our region’s transit infrastructure,” said Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “Our Hennepin County partner and the METRO Blue Line Extension staff have done an admirable job in balancing the feedback we have heard from the community, engineering challenges, and route analysis in making this recommendation. The route is not without its challenges, but I sincerely believe they are not insurmountable. When complete, the METRO Blue Line Extension will be an investment our community can be proud of.”

Following today’s release, the community may provide their thoughts on the route recommendation. Comments on the report should be shared by May 27, 2022. The public can offer input through any of the following ways:

“The new proposed route for the Blue Line Extension Light Rail project will bring transformational benefits to residents from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park,” said Irene Fernando, Hennepin County District 2 Commissioner and chair of the Regional Railroad Authority. “The communities served by the proposed route are transit-reliant and racially diverse and have experienced historical disinvestment. The proposed route will connect students to education, workers to jobs, patients to healthcare, and families to resources, while connecting the corridor to the broader transit network. This project will ignite economic development for small businesses, result in more affordable housing options, increase access to educational opportunities, and build wealth for working families.”

“The benefits of this project exceed the obvious,” said Jeff Lunde, Hennepin County District 1 Commissioner. “We will be making infrastructure improvements that help all modes of transportation, upgrading utilities, and addressing environmental injustices all along the corridor. With one project, we are transforming peoples’ access as well as the livability within their surroundings. We are also transforming employers’ abilities to get staff onsite, which is gaining in importance as people return to workplaces.”

“I am very pleased by today’s announcement of the recommended route,” said Met Council Member Reva Chamblis. “Like many people, I am excited about the prospect of an equitable transit solution for our residents.  While this project will not right all the historical wrongs, it is truly a momentous investment and recognition of our vibrant, unique communities and the people that make it so. With this final route recommendation, community voices are essential to ensure maximum benefit can be achieved as we move towards completing the project.”

The Met Council and Hennepin County will consider public input along with technical analyses before approving a final route. After a route is officially adopted by the Met Council, work on the design and environmental review will advance. 

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