Blue Line Extension Route is set

The METRO Blue Line Extension officially has a new route after the Hennepin County Board and Metropolitan Council voted to adopt the revised route modification in June. These actions allow project leaders to move forward on this important transit project by continuing environmental, design, engineering and anti-displacement activities in preparation for the eventual full funding grant agreement application to the Federal Transit Administration.

The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County Board actions came after more than 18-months of community engagement where project staff held hundreds of community meetings, virtual open houses and thousands of face-to-face community interactions. Feedback guided decision making through the route selection process. As the project moves into this next phase, project staff will continue to solicit feedback and communicate with the community to ensure the project delivers maximum benefit.

“I am proud of the work Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council have done to identify and now adopt the new route for the METRO Blue Line Extension” said Hennepin County District 2 Commissioner and Chair of the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority Irene Fernando. “The new proposed route for the Blue Line Extension Light Rail project will bring transformational benefits to residents from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park, the communities served by the route are transit-reliant and racially diverse and have experienced historical disinvestment. The proposed route will connect students to education, workers to jobs, patients to healthcare, and families to resources, while connecting the corridor to the broader transit network. This project will ignite economic development for small businesses, result in more affordable housing options, increase access to educational opportunities, and build wealth for working families.”

As the project moves forward to the start of construction sometime in 2025, the project anti-displacement efforts will continue. The Anti-displacement Workgroup led by the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County, and facilitated by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, has been meeting to discuss actionable policies to minimize the potential displacement that may occur due to the project.

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