Light rail planners, neighbors to meet as confusion continues

Shallow tunnel map
This map shows a closer view of the proposed Southwest light rail route through the Kenwood neighborhood and along the Kenilworth Trail in Minneapolis, including the co-location of freight and passenger rail tracks, the popular foot and bike path, and the proposed shallow tunnel route.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Council

Southwest light rail planners will meet with residents of the Kenwood neighborhood in Minneapolis Thursday to go over a contentious plan for the metro transit project, one day after a group of regional leaders is expected to recommend running the light rail trains in a shallow tunnel through the Kenilworth Corridor.

Met Council chairwoman Sue Haigh says it's clear that a lot of people are still confused about the tunnel option.

"'How many homes are going to be taken with the shallow-tunnel alternative?'" she said she was asked by a resident recently. "There are no homes that will be taken. These are the sorts of questions we need to answer in an open house."

Haigh plans to attend the Thursday session to talk with neighbors, many of whom oppose "co-location" -- keeping the freight trains where they are and adding a light-rail line to the same right-of-way.

"I think it's important to do it in this neighborhood, since the project staff has made a recommendation for the co-location in the Kenilworth neighborhood. It'll give a chance for people to come out and see the designs, get their questions answered and have some dialogue informally back and forth, which I think is helpful," she said.