Mpls. City Council approves exit ramps, bus station plan

The Minneapolis City Council has approved a plan to add two exit ramps and a bus rapid transit station to Interstate 35W at Lake Street.

The $114 million proposal still needs additional funding, but council member Elizabeth Glidden said the council's support is an important step.

"It's what allows us to go forward and seek funding. It allows us to apply for grants," Glidden said. "It allows us to interact with the federal government in critical ways that allow this project to move forward."

The council needed to approve the plan this month or risk losing nearly $9 million in federal earmarks. The improvements to I-35W have languished for years because of disagreements over the price tag and the role of transit.

Council member Robert Lilligren, who opposes one of the proposed exit ramps, was the sole vote against the plan today. Lilligren's ward includes the stretch of I-35W north of Lake Street.

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