Southwest Light Rail Transit
METRO Green Line Extension – Eden Prairie to Downtown Minneapolis
Construction Hotline: 612-373-3933
The METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT or SWLRT) will serve downtown Minneapolis and the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The line will include 16 new stations and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, and many bus routes. At Target Field Station in Minneapolis, Green Line Extension trains will continue along the METRO Green Line, providing one-seat rides to the University of Minnesota, State Capitol area, and downtown St. Paul. Read more project facts.
Southwest Light Rail Reaches Major Milestone: First LRT Tracks in Hopkins
St. Louis Park, Minn. - August 13, 2021 - The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County are proud to announce the first LRT rail tracks have officially been placed for the METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT). The rail was installed in Hopkins, near the future Downtown Hopkins Station, on August 11, 2021. This marks another major milestone for the Southwest LRT project and brings the project one step closer to connecting the communities of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Minneapolis to new opportunities.
“Moments like these affirm my belief in transit and the communities it serves,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “Southwest LRT will positively change lives by providing easier access to housing, education, and healthcare.
“These first several feet of LRT track represent something bigger than just a light rail line,” he continued. “They represent our communities, our region, and our state coming together and committing to improve the lives of neighbors and ourselves. I am immensely proud of this project and the people who have made it happen.”
“This first set of light rail tracks points towards our shared vision for the future and our commitment to supporting equitable growth,” said Marion Greene Chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. “As we confront the climate crisis and work to reduce racial disparities, this project is putting our region quite literally on track for long-term success. It will reduce our reliance on cars, offer accessible multimodal transportation choices, and drive inclusive development and investment that will benefit all residents. Today, we’re closer than ever to realizing the lasting benefits of Southwest Light Rail, and I’m excited by the progress being made,” Greene said.
Currently Southwest LRT construction is over 50% complete, with 11 of the 16 stations under construction or nearly complete. Despite being under construction, Southwest LRT has already seen over a billion and half dollars of investment within a half-mile of the line.
“As the former Mayor of Hopkins and now Metropolitan Council Member, I feel immense pride that the city I call home was where the first rail of Southwest LRT was laid,” said Metropolitan Council Member Molly Cummings. “I know the community of Hopkins shares the same enthusiasm I have for Southwest LRT and the benefits it will bring. From the development already occurring near the Blake Road, Downtown Hopkins, and Shady Oak Road stations, to visitors arriving by LRT and experiencing what Hopkins has to offer, this is an exciting time for me and our community.”
Hopkins Mayor Jason Gadd echoes his predecessor’s sentiments. “I am thrilled for the City of Hopkins. Southwest LRT stands not only to provide a convenient transportation option for our residents, but also to bring new visitors to our hometown,” Gadd said. “Thanks to Southwest LRT a wider audience will be introduced to Hopkins, an audience that will shop at our businesses on Main Street and take in the fun of Raspberry Festival. I can’t wait.”
Hennepin County Commissioner, Chris LaTondresse, whose district includes several cities along the route, said “If you travel along the line today, you’ll see hundreds of millions of dollars of redevelopment already happening in anticipation of Southwest Light Rail. This is an investment in our future that’s already transforming our community right now. Our communities are already seeing the positive impacts of this project, with new affordable housing, businesses, greenspace and amenities popping up in every city along the line.”
Southwest LRT is just one part of the METRO transit system. When complete, Southwest LRT will offer riders a one-seat trip from Eden Prairie to downtown Saint Paul and connect with numerous bus lines along the way.
“Our LRT lines serve as a backbone for the entire METRO Transit system,” said METRO Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra. “Our job is to get our customers where they need to go in a timely and efficient manner, and Southwest LRT will be integral to our system moving forward.”
Southwest LRT is a 14.5-mile line with 16 stations serving Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, nearby Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. Through 2019, the corridor has seen approximately $1.6 billion in development including affordable housing and commercial development. The Southwest LRT project is the state’s largest transportation project in history and includes LRT, regional trails, roadway connections, and freight rail improvements.
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Southwest LRT Construction Bulletin: September 24, 2021
Upcoming Closures of Note
- Highway 62 in Eden Prairie: A full closure of the westbound lanes between Highway 212 and Shady Oak Road in Eden Prairie is planned for Friday, September 24 in the evening at 7:00 PM through Monday morning at 5:00 AM, September 27. See Eden Prairie detour information here.
- Cedar Lake Parkway at the Kenilworth Trail in Minneapolis: A full closure to vehicle traffic is planned on Monday, September 27 at 7:00 AM and is anticipated to reopen by Monday, morning October 11. Pedestrian and bicycle access will be preserved for the duration of this closure. This short-term closure allows crews to prepare the parkway for eventual tunnel excavation and construction. Crews will work on metal sheets under the parkway and perform grouting work to seal gaps between sheeting. Expect noise and vibration. A long-term closure of Cedar Lake Parkway is expected to take place in spring 2022. See Minneapolis detour maps here.
Construction Walking Tours
Read the update.
Southwest LRT construction walking tours are back! You can learn more and reserve a spot for an October walking tour in each of the corridor cities here. They are filling up fast. Registration is required for the walking tours due to limited space on construction sites. We will provide hardhats and other personal protective wear. Please note, these tours are weather dependent and may be cancelled.
SWLRT Trail Detour Map
To help trail users navigate detours, we now have a Google mapping tool that can help you in the field. To view a larger version click on the square in the upper right hand corner.
Explore The Route
Take a virtual flyover of the route of the METRO Green Line Extension from Eden Prairie through Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and downtown Minneapolis. Key design features of the new light rail line include passenger stations, park-and-ride facilities, bridges, tunnels, and pedestrian/bicycle facilities. See more about the METRO Green Line Extension route and stations.