Robbinsdale approves LRT design plans
The city of Robbinsdale is the latest city to give "municipal consent" to the METRO Blue Line light rail extension project. The 13.5-line will travel from Target Field, to Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal, before making five stops in Brooklyn Park.

The Robbinsdale City Council unanimously approved design plans, which are 15 percent complete. Robbinsdale officials say the Blue Line Extension would boost business and help homeowners.

"Property values go up, all over the United States, within short distances of where a stop is," said Robbinsdale City Council member Bill Blonigan, during Wednesday night's vote.

As the project moves forward, the Robbinsdale City Council supports closing the rail crossing at 39 1/2 Avenue, saying it would cut down on traffic and noise. That would leave two crossings in Robbinsdale: one at Noble Avenue and the other at 42nd Avenue.

A few more adjustments will have to be made to make room for the Blue Line Extension. EMI Audio on 42nd Avenue will have to relocate because that's where the proposed parking ramp will be built.

The company gave us this statement:

"EMI Audio is disappointed that our business will be displaced by the light rail parking ramp. We hope with the help of the city our business can remain located in Robbinsdale."

Northside Oriental Market on Hubbard Avenue will also have to relocate to make room for the parking ramp. The city is still working out details on the 550-stall ramp for the park and ride.

City still has concerns

As the Blue Line Extension project moves forward, city officials have a long list of concerns. That includes Sochacki Park, which construction crews will use as a staging area for the project.

"As part of being able to use that site, they will be required to remove the construction debris, bring in topsoil and help
revegetate that area," said Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick.

Traffic operations and pedestrian safety are also on the list. Overall, officials say the growing pains will be worth it in the end.

Sonya Goins, reporting



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