"Making progress," is how both the Metropolitan Council and the University of Minnesota Wednesday described negotiations over the Central Corridor light rail project.
However, vice president for University services Kathleen O'Brien says it could be early in the new year before final agreement is reached. The U is worried light rail trains running through campus will disrupt sensitive lab equipment with electronic interference and vibrations.
Met Council chairman Peter Bell says areas still being talked about include how much solutions will cost.
"Can we engineer to specifications within our budgetary restraints, and from the University's side will the engineering protect their research capacity?" Bell said.
The goal is to have trains running on University and Washington avenues by 2014, between downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. However, Bell says that timeline is getting tight.
The Federal Transit Administration has told the Met Council the FTA's permission to enter final design will come when the U's concerns are resolved.