Route Modification Report

Route modification map. Details are in the text on the page.Route recommendation

The Blue Line Extension will run from downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park, connecting some of our region’s most diverse communities to jobs, education, and opportunities. In Minneapolis, where two route options were evaluated, the West Broadway route is recommended.

The following full route, described from north to south, meets the project’s principles and stated goals and was recommended to move forward by the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County on June 22, 2022

  • West Broadway Avenue from Oak Grove Parkway to 73rd Avenue in Brooklyn Park. Includes stations at Oak Grove, 93rd Avenue, 85th Avenue, and Brooklyn Boulevard.
  • Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81) between 73rd Avenue in Brooklyn Park to the intersection of County Road 81 and West Broadway Avenue. Includes stations at 63rd Avenue and Bass Lake Road in Crystal, and stations in the downtown and at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.
  • West Broadway Avenue from County Road 81 to Lyndale Avenue through North Minneapolis. This includes a design option along 21st Avenue North from Irving Avenue to Lyndale Avenue, one block to the north of West Broadway Avenue.
  • Several possible connections beteween West Broadway Avenue and Target Field Station in Downtown Minneapolis will be evaluated in the next phase of the project.

This route will:

  • Connect people to new opportunities and destinations.
  • Link people more efficiently to educational and employment opportunities, reduce transit commute times, and increase access to goods and services in an area where building community wealth is a priority.
  • Improve public health and reduce pollution by connecting people to quality health care and providing clean active transportation options.
  • Make a generational and unprecedented transit investment in a corridor that has experienced a history of systemic racism and high percentage of zero-car households.

Evaluation process

To determine a community-supported route, the project team considered Project Principles and goals, community and business feedback, and engineering requirements. Each route was evaluated against the project goals to see how it serves community needs.

Route principles on the left, engagement principles on the right. Both sides have arrows pointing to the other.

All the routes have received an overall assessment of “good” in their ability to serve the community. In some cases these routes achieve an excellent rating based on unique features and the potential to deliver exemplary positive benefits. None of the routes have been assessed as “poor,” which would mean they did not meet the project goals.

Assessment of route options to defined goals

Project goal Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81) in Brooklyn Park & Crystal Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81) in Robbinsdale Lowry Route West Broadway Route
Improve transit access and connections to jobs and regional destinations Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Improve frequency and reliability of transit service to communities in the corridor Excellent Excellent Good Good
Provide transit improvements that maximize transit benefits, while being cost competitive and economiclly viable Good Good Good Good
Support communities' development goals Good Good Good Excellent
Promote healthy communities and sound environmental practices including efforts to address climate change Good Good Good Good
Advance local and regional equity and work towards reducing regional racial disparities Good Good Good Excellent

Next steps

Further robust community engagement will continue through these and future phases. Comments will be accepted through May 18, 2022. The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County will carefully review the community input received to make any additional modifications before the recommended community‑supported route moves forward for further evaluation in 2022.

Ongoing public engagement schedule

August 2020

Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council issued a joint statement on advancing the project without using 8 miles of railroad right-of-way

March 2021

Release of the Initial Route Evaluation Report that identified potential route options

July 2021

Release of potential station study areas and visualizations of light rail

November 2021

Release of preliminary design options on how LRT could fit into each community

December 2021

Release of Draft Route Modification Report

 Spring 2022

  Release of Route Modification Report

Summer 2022

Route recommendation approval by Hennepin County and Metropolitan Council; Environmental review phase and advanced engineering begins

Identifying a community-supported route

Since August 2020, the project has held more than 300 events and connected directly with more than 11,000 people. As part of this outreach, the project contracted with 12 community and cultural organizations to increase feedback and representation from low-income and communities of color.

Major themes heard from outreach participants:

  • Avoid impacts/disruption to communities and the environment
  • Safety on transit and in communities served
  • Easy pedestrian access to and from stations
  • Anti-displacement efforts are a priority
  • Support for businesses during construction
  • Access to regional destinations
  • Support economic development
  • Improve the transit experience
  • Improve access for and serve transit dependent populations

Learn more about our engagement efforts:

Learn how the revised potential routes were selected and about other routes considered:

Highlighted on this map is the portion of the original alignment that cannot be constructed as previously planned.

METRO Blue Line Extension

Blue Line Extension Project Office
Park Place West Building, Suite 500
6465 Wayzata Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN 55426