Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Lawmakers frustrated by delays, cost overruns enlist MnDOT on light-rail project

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will assume a bigger role in the Blue Line light-rail extension, a move by state lawmakers to ensure the $3 billion project isn't fraught with the delays and cost overruns of the Southwest light-rail line.

The provision, included in the 1,400-page tax law signed by Gov. Tim Walz, calls for MnDOT's input on the design, planning, land acquisition, construction and scheduling of the Blue Line, which is slated to connect downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park via Robbinsdale and Crystal. Service is projected to begin in 2030.

What the language doesn't do: Replace the Metropolitan Council with MnDOT as the lead agency overseeing new transit projects costing more than $100 million - which was the authors' original intent.


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