2013 Impact Studies

Freight Rail, Water Resources, and Landscape Impacts

In response to local concerns, the Southwest LRT Project initiated new studies of freight rail options, water resources and landscaping in December 2013. The Metropolitan Council tapped two national engineering firms: TranSystems to independently analyze freight rail relocation options and Burns & McDonnell to independently evaluate potential impacts on water resources. Meanwhile, the Southwest Project Office conducted a tree and landscape inventory.

Independent Evaluation of Freight Rail Location

The Metropolitan Council contracted for an independent analysis of freight rail relocation alternatives that took a fresh look at previous studies and proposals.

The freight rail relocation alternatives study reviewed previous studies and designs, assessed the viability of location options and attempted to identify new options. The work was coordinated with Hennepin County and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Louis Park.

Water Resources Evaluation

The Metropolitan Council contracted for an independent water resources evaluation to look at potential impacts of LRT construction.

The purpose of the water resources evaluation was to independently assess potential LRT construction impacts on water levels and quality within the Kenilworth Corridor.

Activities were coordinated with the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. 

The evaluation reviewed all previous reports and documents pertaining to water resources impacts.

Kenilworth Landscape Analysis

The Southwest LRT Project performed an additional study of vegetation in the Kenilworth Corridor.

The purpose of the landscaping/greenscaping analysis was to inventory existing trees and vegetation and identify re-vegetation opportunities with LRT construction in the Kenilworth Corridor.

These activities were coordinated with the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Activities included reviewing previous studies; creating an inventory of trees, understory vegetation and ground cover; identifying re-vegetation opportunities; and developing a public involvement plan and public charrette process to identify design principles that will serve as a framework for the process