U of M approves temporary easements for Central Corridorby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council have finalized a tentative deal reached last Friday in a dispute over light rail.
University officials have officially handed over a temporary easement to the Met Council that will allow preliminary road work to begin on the campus portion of the Central Corridor light-rail project.
The two parties have also finalized a framework on how to protect the university's research labs from the trains along Washington Avenue.
The university's general counsel, Mark Rotenberg, says he personally handed over the documents to Met Council representatives in a bar around midnight Wednesday.
"We actually celebrated with a drink," Rotenberg said.
Next week, the two parties will continue court-ordered mediation and work towards a final, written agreement. Rotenberg said that process could last a while.
The 11-mile transit line will connect the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.