A St. Paul lawmaker is worried completion of the Central Corridor light rail project may be pushed back beyond 2014.
Rep. Alice Hausman said the University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council have told her they are making progress settling their differences over building the line. However, the U says it could be early in the new year before there's an agreement.
Hausman worries the delay could make it hard to line up contractors in time for a late summer construction start on the project.
"If we are talking about beginning letting bids next summer, and if Washington is still waiting for us to resolve the university issue, the calendar works against us now I would say," Hausman said.
The U wants the Metropolitan council to pay for mitigation of electronic interference and vibrations the light rail trains may cause to sensitive lab equipment. Federal dollars are being counted on to fund up to half the cost of the $941 million project.
The Met Council says meeting a deadline is crucial, but Hausman says U officials appear to disagree.
"One believes there is a clear deadline and it's very crucial to be in the president's budget and the other side does not," Hausman said. "So when the very essence of the disagreement is 'does this have to get done by a certain point it,' makes negotiation even harder."