SWLRT: A Retrospective Link Roundup

Have you heard the news today, oh boy?

(Okay, yesterday.)

The costs of the SWLRT are ballooning — up to $2B, in fact. By the math, that’s 333 Vikings pedestrian bridges, and change. Between ongoing legal and political battles from city, county and suburbs, to newly-identified soil contamination that’s worse than anticipated, to an improved economy driving up labor costs for construction…it’s a mess. Now, sure, the project started at $1.65B, which isn’t exactly peanuts, but the increase is more than a rounding error.

Here’s a look back at some past streets.mn coverage of this line:

And we’ve mentioned it in countless other contexts, from political races to urban soccer stadiums. Streets contributors and readers have been chattering about this new development on Twitter all day. Several wonder if this opens us back up to prior alignments discarded by the wayside as “too expensive”–this alignment was chosen for its relative economy, after all. Others wonder if it’s time to look at an east metro expansion of transit.

Tell us: What do you think will happen with SWLRT?


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8 Responses to SWLRT: A Retrospective Link Roundup

  1. Alex Schieferdecker
    Alex Schieferdecker April 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    Helpful list of links, thanks.

    I have no idea what will happen. What I hope happens is:

    1. A moratorium is placed on further development of the line, and a new study is commissioned on alternatives, which takes another serious look at the 3C alignment. If that proves too expensive as well…

    2. …the line is put on hiatus, whatever money budgeted is locked in, and the Met Council move quickly to identify less problematic things to spend money on. Maybe the idea of putting a streetcar in the Midtown Greenway bed. Maybe the Nicollet Mall streetcar. Maybe the Blue Line extension. Hey, maybe we can think seriously about closing the triangle down the Riverview corridor. Either way, we shift focus and leave a small group to chip away at the SW LRT issues.

  2. Ben April 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    Maybe they can use the money to improve roads and bridges. No matter how much rail is put in, we still need to maintain roads and bridges. Whatever happens, I hope they do not focus on Blue Line expansion. We are still fighting that here in Brooklyn Park. Even the residents who are for it admit that the route is wrong for the community.

    • Joey Senkyr
      Joey Senkyr April 27, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

      Maintaining roads and bridges is important, but is not the Met Councils’ job. That needs to be done by MnDOT, instead of constantly using all their money building new roads and bridges to crumble away.

    • Adam Miller
      Adam Miller April 29, 2015 at 9:56 am #

      Fix the route if need be (and I think it needs fixing in Minneapolis first), but let’s build the blue line and finally include the north side in our transit improvements.

  3. Mike Hicks April 28, 2015 at 7:12 am #

    While this may be now 333 Vikings pedestrian bridges, it’s also just two Vikings stadiums or about three St. Croix bridges.

    I don’t have good details yet, but there’s a lot of speculation this has to do with bad soil conditions. I suppose all of the buildings in Eden Prairie’s Golden Triangle got built on the more solid locations. Or maybe that’s not where the soil problems are?

    Anyway, I have some ideas for alternatives, but will have to wait until another time to talk about them.

    • Julie Kosbab April 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      All the articles are saying there’s soil remediation issues but they aren’t saying where. I can only suppose it’s westward, as the city-route has been examined with such detail it can’t possibly be through there.

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    […] Extension” if you prefer) has jumped to $2 billion, there’s been a lot of chatter both inside and outside of Streets.MN about what this holds for the […]

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