Judge rules light rail work must continue

Light rail construction
Signs direct The Nail Shop patrons through the light rail construction along University Avenue in St. Paul, Minn. Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

A federal judge has ruled that construction of the Central Corridor light-rail project must go on. The St. Paul NAACP and community members from the Rondo neighborhood asked Judge Donovan Frank to halt the project, contending that light-rail planners were dragging their feet in completing a study that would analyze business impacts during construction.

Nearly two years ago, Frank mandated such a study. The Metropolitan Council and the Federal Transit Administration responded by providing some analysis, but not to the level of detail that the judge required.

This week, Frank acknowledged that the process has been lengthy, but found that the planners were working in good faith. The agencies say a draft of the study should be completed next month, followed by a period for public feedback.

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