Cities pledge to contribute to new rail line
The Southwest Corridor light rail line has been the subject of much controversy in the Twin Cities. The ever expanding cost of the project has driven many people from supporting it. In April, it was announced that the cost to build a line would be up to $2 billion. This was a jump of $341 million from previous estimates.
These increasing costs were due to unexpected expenses along the proposed light rail line. These included contaminated soil in Hopkins and St. Louis Park. Additionally, ground conditions along much of the route were worse than expected
Officials throughout the metro area realized that they could not support the increased costs. In response to these increasing costs, it was announced that the project would be scaled back. Cuts to the line would have to be made in order to bring the project back within a reasonable budget. These cuts included delaying the construction of certain stops and scrapping stations in Eden Prairie.
Additionally, local governments were asked to consider contributing funds to the project. Cities along the proposed light rail line have since pledged money and property to the project. These local donations hope to help decrease the overall costs of the rail line.
When governmental agencies build large-scale projects like the Southwest Corridor light rail line, they often need property and money. In many cases, this comes from the local residents. However, property owners may not be as enthusiastic to donate as the governmental agencies.
Property owner should know that eminent domain laws protect them in cases where the government wants to take property from a private citizen. In these situations, legal protections can ensure that private property owners receive the compensation they need when governments undertake large scale construction projects.
MPR News, “Panel backs cuts to rescue Southwest light rail,” Curtis Gilbert, July 1, 2015
Image Source: MPR News