Monday, November 26, 2012
The error, which arose out of editing and formatting changes, does not change the conclusions of the project’s draft environmental impact statement.
Engineering consultants have identified a $100 million typo in a Southwest Light Rail Transit report that understates the cost of putting the Twin Cities & Western freight line in the same corridor as the light rail—an option known as “co-location.” The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) listed the “professional services” cost of option 3A-1—the co-location alternative—as “$99,357 (in thousands).” That should have read “$199,357 (in thousands).” The difference between the two figures is $100 million but does not alter the conclusions of the DEIS. “While I'm dismayed that an error of this nature was made, we all think it's important to be transparent, to identify the error and make the correction immediately,” Hennepin County …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
St. Louis Park residents worry a freight rail reroute will make their neighborhoods more dangerous, hurt schools and lower property values.
Drivers passing St. Louis Park City Hall on Wednesday night couldn’t miss the orange shirts and big-lettered signs of protestors upset about the proposed route of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line. Critics showed up in force prior to a public hearing on the project’s draft environmental impact statement to protest the proposed relocation of the Twin Cities & Western freight line, which currently operates on a planned segment of the Southwest LRT. Nearby residents say the additional, heavier freight traffic on the tracks would lower property values, disrupt nearby St. Louis Park High School and be more dangerous. “You say there are five communities along the line,” Mminnetonka Boulevard homeowner Brian Zachek said at a public hearing …
Thursday, November 8, 2012
‘The Freight Rail Re-Route would not survive a vote by the free citizens who would pay for it (with their property values). Nor, I daresay, would the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project.’
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Editor’s Note: On Saturday, former Senate District 46 candidate Paul Scofield attended a meeting of several neighborhood associations that included discussion of the Southwest Light Rail Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the freight rail issue in St. Louis Park. He submitted this guest column to Patch afterward. The hazards faced by St. Louis Park and the neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed Freight Rail Re-Route are a consequence of bad decision processes. These decision processes are bad because they are anti-democratic and unaccountable to the citizens impacted. These decisions are being made at the Federal, Regional, County, and City level, with little or no accountability to citizens whose property values are already …
Monday, August 27, 2012
A stretch of track from I-394 to just east of Beltline Boulevard is being replaced.
Changes are coming to the Kenilworth Freight Rail Corridor this fall, but not as part of a potential reroute through St. Louis Park. A stretch of track from I-394 to just east of Beltline Boulevard will be replaced in October, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) reported Tuesday. The section of track is aging and isn't up to current design standards. The new track will consist of continuously welded rail, which will result in smoother operations for freight trains. There is no plan to increase train speeds as part of the project, the HCRRA reports. This also has nothing to do with a proposed freight rail reroute that could divert Kenilworth traffic onto a railway that runs through the heart of St. Louis Park to make …
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Environmental review of a possible St. Louis Park freight reroute will be handled at the federal level as part of light rail planning.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has pulled out of the environmental review process for a potential St. Louis Park freight reroute—a procedural move now that the reroute is being considered along with light rail planning. MnDOT was orginally the lead agency in examining potential environmental impacts of rerouting the Twin Cities & Western freight line through St. Louis Park, a move being considered to make way for the planned Southwest Light Rail Transit line. However, the Federal Transit Administration declared in September that the proposed reroute should be included in light rail planning. This means that environmental review will be handled at the federal level as light rail planning unfolds. Both the City of St. Louis Park …