Crystal Seeks 6-Lane CR 81 Alternative for Blue Line Extension Route
City officials in Crystal are pushing back on a key part of the plan for the METRO Blue Line Extension project.
Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council approved the preferred route in June. It would have light rail trains travel down the center of County Road 81 in Crystal.
In order to make room for the tracks, project leaders have proposed reducing the road from six lanes to four.
However, the city has concerns about whether four lanes can accommodate all the traffic in the area. City officials are now asking project leaders to consider alternative designs to keep the road at six lanes.
“The main benefit of that to the community is that, that will help draw out all the pros and cons, potential impacts, potential benefits, potential mitigation measures of both versions,” said John Sutter, Crystal’s community development director. “And that will be essential for the city council to take an informed municipal consent vote on the project sometime in 2023.”
The Crystal City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night for consideration of a six-lane design alternative in the upcoming environmental review process.