Southwest Journal: Risk of “Fatal Delay” Rises for Met Council’s SWLRT Project

Just a quick update, courtesy of the Southwest Journal, on Southwest LRT. Much has happened, and not happened, for the project these last few weeks. I will give you a much more detailed account, probably next week:

As costs continued to rise for Southwest Light Rail Transit, the Metropolitan Council sounded a warning in a federal filing this week that its ongoing dispute with a regional railroad could cause a “potentially fatal” delay for the $1.9 billion project.

The agency is now battling on multiple fronts to keep the state’s largest-ever public works project viable: in federal court, where it faces two SWLRT-related lawsuits; before the federal Surface Transportation Board, which is currently weighing Met Council’s plan to acquire two critical sections of future light-rail corridor; in Washington, D.C., where Congressman Jason Lewis is leading an effort to strip Met Council of its ability to use federal transportation funds; and at its headquarters in St. Paul, where on Wednesday it announced the latest bids for the project’s massive civil construction contract.

The upshot? For those of us who favor a modern transit system rather than fixed-rail, which means buses, bus rapid transit and lots of good pavement to run on, I can happily report that SWLRT (and Bottineau) remain in peril. The fat lady is still clearing her throat back stage but she ain’t singing yet.

You can read the entire article here. As costs rise for Southwest light rail, so does risk of ‘fatal’ delay (Dylan Thomas).