METRO Blue Line Extension
Minneapolis & northwestern communities
2022 year in review
In June 2022, the METRO Blue Line Extension project made progress towards selecting a new route after more than 18 months of robust community engagement. Project staff held hundreds of community meetings, virtual open houses, and had thousands of face-to-face community interactions. Feedback received during community engagement guided decision making through the route selection process. The latest route options currently being studied can be found on the project’s interactive map, and more community conversations will continue into 2023 to determine the preferred route alternative that will advance into design.
In the fall, the project also began the environmental review process to understand the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts and benefits that may occur because of the design, construction, and operation of the Blue Line Extension route options. The environmental work, along with ongoing public feedback and agency coordination, will compare options, drive the design process, and guide project decisions so they avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential impacts of the modified route.
In 2023, the project will advance station and light rail planning and design, complete the draft environmental review document, and share the recommendations from the anti-displacement work group efforts. As the project moves into this next phase, project staff will continue to solicit feedback and communicate with the community to ensure the project delivers maximum benefit.
Anti-displacement workgroup hosted third workshop
The Blue Line Extension anti-displacement workgroup is helping prevent displacement and maximize community benefits in the corridor. It includes representatives living in the community and from nonprofits, small businesses, and government.
During the third workshop, which focused on business and cultural displacement, the group discussed the following topics:
- Cultural displacement and placemaking
- Policies to support businesses
- Structure for recommendations
The fifth and final workshop will occur in early 2023 and focus on anti-displacement recommendations. Learn more about anti-displacement work and view a full meeting recap and materials.
Cultivate Arts engaged corridor communities through artist-led projects
In 2022, the Cultivate Arts project returned. Cultivate worked with local artists to engage communities in the Metro Blue Line Extension corridor to build artist capacity, demonstrate arts and placemaking tools, and activate the creative economy.
Between July and November, Cultivate led 31 culturally representative arts-based engagement events in communities along the Blue Line Extension corridor. The events, centered around music, dance, paint, photography, and interactive art installations, educated communities on the Blue Line Extension project, while informing a corridor-wide plan for long-term public art. Through these efforts, Cultivate engaged over 5,000 residents from a diverse range of ages and cultural backgrounds. Find more information on the Cultivate Arts project and events.
Field work schedule
Crews are performing field work to study potential environmental impacts of the project. This work is planned to continue into 2023. The work you may see includes:
- Phase I environmental site assessment: Currently underway
- Wetland delineations: Complete October 2023
- Noise and vibration monitoring: Winter 2023
Project staff are surveying parking needs
Project staff are surveying businesses along the Blue Line Extension corridor to assess their parking inventory and needs. The project design and construction processes will be informed by the data they collect.
Engagement next steps
Outreach will continue into 2023. Look for more information early next year with updates on the project, new opportunities to get involved, and ways to share your feedback.
Join the conversation
Visit MyBlueLineExt.org to share your vision for light rail in your community.