ST. PAUL – Feb. 14, 2011 -- The two meetings set for Feb. 17 to hear concerns about the potential business impacts of Central Corridor Light Rail Transit construction are part of a larger National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
The NEPA process involves completing a Supplemental Environmental Assessment reviewing the potential loss of business revenue along the alignment during construction. The Metropolitan Council and the Federal Transit Administration are preparing the Supplemental Environmental Assessment.
The Supplemental Environmental Assessment will be published for public review. The Met Council will make notice of its availability in a variety of media in addition to sending notice to the project’s mailing list. Following publication of the Supplemental Environmental Assessment, there will be a formal 30-day comment period. Comments will be welcomed by mail, email and telephone.
A formal public hearing will be scheduled during the 30-day period. Individuals will be welcome to speak, and their comments will be recorded so their testimony can become part of the NEPA process.
At the end of the 30-day comment period, the Met Council and the FTA will respond to all comments as part of the final Supplemental Environmental Assessment document.
Details about the Feb. 17 town hall/open houses
As a part of the Supplemental Environmental Assessment process, a town hall/open house meeting will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Model Cities Brownstone conference room, 849 University Ave. W., in St. Paul.
At these meetings, staff from the FTA and the Central Corridor Project Office will listen and answer questions on a one-to-one basis. Staff will be arranged at the following stations by topic:
Parking mitigation program, business loan program
Business support resources available through ReadyforRail.net
Communications, construction communication committees, contractor incentive program
Pedestrian and vehicle access, contractor parking program
All comments are welcome. They will be sorted based on topic, and those related to the potential loss of revenue by local businesses will be included in the NEPA process. Comments on other topics will be referred to the Met Council for handling.
Comments also may be submitted on comment cards at the meetings, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or left on the project comment line at 651-602-1645.
About the Project
The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and University of Minnesota. Construction began in 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, and service will begin in 2014. The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at the new Target Field Station. The Metropolitan Council would be the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. Funding is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Counties Transit Improvement Board, state of Minnesota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties’ regional railroad authorities, city of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.
Central Corridor LRT Project