Pawlenty says Central Corridor LRT plan costs too muchby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The governor sent a letter to the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the chairs of the Hennepin and Ramsey County boards and University of Minnesota president. He said they need to agree on a route that costs less.
Pawlenty said the cost of the project would be too high -- more than $1.25 billion if all of the components being proposed were included. He said the total cost of the project must be $840 million to meet federal standards.
Pawlenty included $70 million in his bonding bill proposal to show support for the LRT line, but suggested that money could be transferred to other projects if an agreement is not reached.
Some of the sticking points include whether the proposed line should run all the way to the St. Paul Union Depot and whether a tunnel should be built on the U of M campus to carry the trains, to resolve concerns over traffic congestion in the campus area.
The Metropolitan Council is scheduled to vote on the Central Corridor project proposal in late February.