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SWLRT special review: Legislative auditor finds over $500M of $2.74B budget is unfunded

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor released a special review of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, which has been plagued with cost overruns and multiple delays.

The LRT project, which is an extension of the Metro Green Line, has an estimated budget of $2.74 billion, which is more than double the budget projected in 2011.

According to the auditor’s special review of the project’s budget and timeline, more than $500 million of the estimated budget is currently unfunded.

RELATED: Minnesota Senate Unanimously Approves Southwest Light Rail Audit

“The Metropolitan Council-the agency responsible for overseeing the design, engineering, construction, and future operation of the light rail line-has not yet identified a funding source,” the review said in its summary.

The auditor says the three factors driving delays and cost increases are:

-Uncertainty about final location of freight rail along the project’s alignment
-The construction of a light rail tunnel in Minneapolis’ Kenilworth Corridor
-The need for a concrete barrier wall between freight rail and light rail traffic along a portion of the alignment

Read the special review here.

The 14.5-mile Green Line extension, which was about 60% completed as of March, will connect downtown Minneapolis with southwestern suburbs that include St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Eden Prairie.

WCCO’s Caroline Cummings will have more on the special review’s findings later on WCCO 4 News and CBS News Minnesota. Check back for updates. 


Source: CBS Minnesota

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