The Blue Line Extension receives approval to begin engineering phase

The Blue Line Extension, a light rail transitway connecting Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Robbinsdale and Golden Valley with downtown Minneapolis, received approval today to begin the engineering phase from the Federal Transit Administration.

This action comes a month after the Southwest Light Rail received the same approval.

The engineering phase allows project staff to finalize designs in preparation for the start of construction in 2018.

“Our region has a strong reputation nationally for successfully delivering on transit projects,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck. “We will apply in fall 2017 for the Full Funding Grant Agreement and anticipate receiving that federal commitment in early 2018. The Blue Line Extension has achieved this milestone because the project has support at the federal and local levels and from the business community as well.”

Next steps include securing the remaining 10 percent of local funding, applying for federal funding, complete 100 percent of the designs by the end of the year.

The 13-mile line, with 11 stations along the route along West Broadway, County Road 81 and Highway 55, is expected to open for passenger operations in 2021.

Check the Jan. 26 edition of the Sun Post for city official’s comments about the project’s progress.