MPR might sue over Central Corridorby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Plans for a light rail transit project linking St. Paul and Minneapolis face a third possible lawsuit.
Minnesota Public Radio is considering suing the Metropolitan Council over the Central Corridor rail project, which will run on tracks alongside the company's downtown St. Paul building, according to Nancy Homans, policy director for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
The company is concerned with the Met Council's plans to address issues over noise and vibrations from the trains.
The Central Corridor project faces two additional lawsuits filed by the University of Minnesota and a St. Paul community group.
Peter Rogoff, the head of the Federal Transit Administration, said Tuesday his agency will continue to move the project forward.
"We do not just throw up our hands and walk away from projects in the face of lawsuits," said Rogoff. "Frankly, if we turned tail on every project where the agency was sued, we wouldn't be building very much."
MPR and the Met Council agreed in April to a number of remedies, including a "floating slab," that would reduce vibration along the section of the track in front of MPR's broadcast facility in downtown St. Paul.
But they disagree over the details of the agreement. MPR wants the project to pay for a floating slab using steel springs, but the Met Council prefers a rubber pad system. MPR says the rubber pad system is inadequate to deal with the vibration from the trains.
MPR issued a statement saying that its April 2009 agreement with the Met Council over the noise and vibration remedies remains in effect.
"The performance standards in that agreement are essential to protecting our broadcast and recording facilities. We are committed to seeing them implemented effectively," the statement said.
A spokeswoman for MPR declined to comment specifically on the possibility of a lawsuit. Met Council Chairman Peter Bell was also not available to comment on the matter.
The Central Corridor project got a boost this week when President Obama recommended that the federal government make its first payment of $45 million toward the nearly $1 billion project.
(MPR's Dan Olson contributed to this report)