Downtown Mpls. transit hub closer to reality, officials say

Transit hub
Local and federal local officials announced Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 that $10 million in federal stimulus money will go toward a transit hub on this location near Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

Federal and local elected officials announced Thursday that $10 million in federal stimulus money has been awarded to a transit hub project located near Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.

The hub will link multiple rail and bus lines, and is scheduled for completion in 2014, when the Central Corridor light rail line is scheduled to begin operation.

However, Hennepin County has secured just over half of the estimated $68 million needed to build the project.

Hennepin County commissioner Peter McLaughlin said county and state agencies are trying to pull together more public and private money.

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"We're cobbling the pieces together," McLaughlin said. "We think that we're going to have sufficient resources available in February to make a positive decision. We may not have everything lined up at that point but we're used to ... taking prudent risks to move the ball forward."

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said another round of grants will be awarded next spring.

"There'll be other opportunities to apply for this funding," Klobuchar said. "As you can see, by the funding we've gotten for the entire project, so far, the Department of Transportation is a big fan of this project."

County officials say the deadline for requests for proposals for the transit hub is Feb. 24. They say that's when contractors will present more detailed cost estimates for the project.