The Metropolitan Council and the City of Minneapolis have hired a mediator to help bridge their differences over the proposed Southwest light rail project.
Retired federal judge Arthur Boylan has helped resolve seemingly intractable stand-offs before. He brokered the compromise that ended the 2011 National Football League players lockout.
Bringing in Boylan shows how difficult the negotiations between Minneapolis and Met Council have become, but it also suggests the parties want to find a way to make a deal.
The Met Council voted last month to run part of the Southwest light rail line through shallow tunnels as it passes between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles. Minneapolis opposed that plan, and now has to decide whether to go along with it or stand in the project's way.
The Minneapolis City Council has until mid-June to make its decision. The Met Council hasn't said how much the mediation will cost.