Central Corridor gets OK for final design work

Builders of the Central Corridor light rail line from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis received confirmation Tuesday that the project has gained permission to begin the final design stage.

Federal officials told the Metropolitan Council two weeks ago permission was being granted. Still to come is the Federal Transit Administration's full funding grant agreement.

That agreement commits the federal government to supplying up to half the funds -- about $455 million -- of the the $957 million project.

The funding agreement hinges on the successful completion of negotiations between the Met Council and the University of Minnesota over the U's concerns about electronic interference and vibrations affecting sensitive lab equipment.

Construction on the 11-mile line has already begun.

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