(AP) The Federal Transit Administration has recommended that the Northstar commuter rail project move forward to the final stage for federal funding, according to a letter sent by the agency to Sen. Norm Coleman Monday.
The letter by FTA Administrator James S. Simpson said that the Northstar project has met several concerns raised by the agency, "thereby providing FTA with the necessary confidence that this project is a viable candidate for an FFGA (Full Funding Grant Agreement)."
The FTA action does not guarantee federal funding for the project, a 40-mile commuter line between Minneapolis and Big Lake.
Still, Coleman, R-Minn., said in a statement that the "FTA has provided Northstar with the necessary support to begin construction this summer."
"I am very pleased to see this project move forward," added Rep. Jim Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the House Transportation Committee. "This is a great moment for transportation in Minnesota."