New Hope Lawmaker Authors Bill for Blue Line Extension Funding
Rep. Cedrick Frazier, DFL-New Hope, is proposing legislation to provide state funding for the METRO Blue Line Extension light rail route that would connect downtown Minneapolis to the northwest suburbs.
His bill, HF1576, would provide $200 million through state bonding. Backers of the bill say approving state funding will help leverage nearly $1 billion in federal funds through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Both state and federal funds are essential to moving the project along. The estimated cost of the light rail route is $1.54 billion.
“What this extension will do is to provide for an opportunity for the communities in the northwest suburbs going up and through into Brooklyn Park to have access to downtown Minneapolis, have access to affordable housing and to really instill more of the vibrant communities that we want in our cities in Minnesota,” said Frazier.
The bill had a brief informational hearing on April 14 before the House Capital Investment Committee.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Lunde, a former Brooklyn Park mayor, testified that light rail has brought more than $9 billion in development at existing and planned light rail stations.
Several area businesses have signed on to a letter written to lawmakers in support of the bill. Those include Takeda and Design Ready Controls, which have facilities in Brooklyn Park. North Hennepin Community College has also indicated support.
The project is still years away with cities along the line still needing to provide municipal consent. Those votes could happen next spring.
Also See: Robbinsdale to Support Resolution Asking for Help with Light Rail Route
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