Key Republicans want more info before funding next LRT

Legislative leaders from the House and Senate Transportation Committees are asking for more information before they'll agree to fund the next planned light rail line in the Twin Cities.

In a letter, Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, and Rep. Mike Beard, R-Shakopee, questioned whether certain state statutory requirements and federal funding agreements were met.

The lawmakers also expressed concern over the proposed route of the 15-mile, $1.25-billion line linking Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis. The letter said the transportation chairs would be willing to reconsider their position if additional documentation is provided.

The governor asked lawmakers to approve $25 million for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail project as part of his infrastructure request this session.

Met Council chair Sue Haigh responded in a statement that the process to fund and choose the LRT route was consistent with state and federal laws. She said approval of the $25 million for preliminary engineering is critical to moving the project forward.

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