Elevated Railway an Option for Blue Line Extension Along CR 81
Monday in Robbinsdale, staff members involved in the Metro Blue Line Extension project held the first of several meetings where people could learn more about the latest reincarnation of the light rail project.
Robbinsdale is one of the cities where the original alignment that was approved years ago had to be shifted because project leaders couldn’t strike a deal with BNSF Railway to share the rail corridor.
Now, the newly proposed alignment has light rail trains running down Country Road 81. One option shows an elevated railway design through Robbinsdale. Monday’s open house was an opportunity for community members to look at renderings of potential station locations and see how they’d fit with the rest of the city.
While fatigue has certainly set in from people who went through this process the first time, project leaders say the new alignment creates some exciting opportunities.
“I think one of the weaknesses of the previous corridor is that we weren’t able to connect North Memorial Hospital,” said Sam O’Connell, assistant director of community affairs for Metro Transit. “Now we have an opportunity to do that, kind of really bring folks to the hospital. And not just folks that are obviously using the hospital, but folks that work there.”
Project leaders say they hope to have a community supported alignment in place by the end of this year or early next year. The goal is to have the train up and running by 2028.