Golden Valley Sets Feb 2 Open House And Public Hearing To Consider Municipal Consent For Light Rail Line
The City of Golden Valley will hold an open house and public hearing Tuesday, Feb 2 to review the $1.5 billion proposal for the planned METRO Blue Line Extension LRT project. The open house will be from from 6-7 pm at City Hall, followed by a public hearing at 7 pm. The City Council will then officially vote on municipal consent Tuesday, Feb 16.
The Metropolitan Council’s METRO Blue Line Extension corridor plan includes 11 stations that run from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park, a park-and-ride lot at the Golden Valley Rd station, and a rebuilt intersection at Theodore Wirth Parkway and Golden Valley Rd with trail connections.
The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, Hennepin County, and the Metropolitan Council are holding a joint public hearing on the plan Jan 19. State law requires that all other municipalities involved conduct their own public hearings within 45 days after that. Following those hearings, Golden Valley, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Minneapolis, and Hennepin County will then each vote on the plan individually in a process known as municipal consent. [See plan documents here.]
Golden Valley’s Feb 2 public hearing won’t be used to hash out or change details, but instead to discuss and crosscheck the plan before making an official vote on it, says Jason Zimmerman, City planner.
“At this point, most of the public input has been given and a lot of that input is already incorporated into the plan,” Zimmerman says.
All municipalities involved must approve the plan in order to move forward with it in its current state. While the general details of the plan are fixed (ie, number and location of stations, routes, etc), the finer details, such as station designs and amenities, will continue to be worked out over the next year, Zimmerman explains.
“What we’re considering now is the plan on a general level, the broad strokes,” he says. “There’s still going to be a lot of work refining the plan going forward.”
In August 2016, staff will finalize the design plans and specifications and apply with the Federal Transit Administration to enter the engineering phase of the project. Heavy construction is set to occur in 2018-2020, with passenger service of the 13-mile extension beginning in 2021.