Study examines potential impact of new light rail
When a new building or development is built in Minnesota it is bound to have an impact on its immediate neighbors. Sometimes, this impact is minimal and therefore the project is completed without issue. In other situations, the nature of the project is such that it seriously impacts the surrounding community.
The proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit Line project falls into this latter category. With up to 200 trains running through Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and Eden Prairie each day, the impact of the project is significant. Experts have been studying the impact of this train traffic during these initial planning stages. In particular, the impact of the train’s noise and vibration has been studied.
In a recent preliminary environmental study, experts have identified some potential issues with the railway. According to reports, 68 moderate impacts have been identified along the train’s path. Additionally, four severe impacts have been identified. The areas that may be effected include residential buildings, concert halls and recording studios where noise may an issue — at 50 feet away, a light rail train will sound similar to a lawn mower. In other instances, the vibrations are troubling as they may cause structural damage to building that are too close to tracks.
The full impact of the potential rail line will be continually studied and reworked by engineers. A full report on its environmental impact is due later this year.
When a project — especially one built by the government — reduces the value of a property owner’s land, a condemnation may have occurred. In these cases, property owners may be entitled to damages for the decrease in their property’s value. People should always understand their legal rights when a government project threatens their property.
Source: Finance & Commerce, “New study shows noise impacts from Southwest rail line,” Cali Owings, Feb. 4, 2015
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