Twin Cities light rail funds “expected” next week

Lots of tiptoeing and carefully chosen words.

But most of the local officials who consider themselves informed on the topic now say that the long-awaited federal money for Central Corridor light rail is….


Ok, not exactly a headline.

More significant is that most of those same folks are making plans to be at a Twin Cities ceremony next Tuesday, April 26, where they expect the agreement for the $477 million federal match to be announced.

No apologies necessary if you’ve tuned out the CCLRT financial melodrama.

The latest development is that if the Federal Transit Administration signs off on its review of some changes to the environemental impact statement, then, yes, it appears the federal match is on the way.

Sort of.

The money doesn’t come as a one big check to the Metropolitan Council, the builder of the line.

It comes in fairly substantial payments which must be approved by Congress.

Yes, that’s the same Congress that is having a rather starchy time at the moment getting along and agreeing on anything especially money matters.

Still, if the track record (sorry) for the Hiawatha light rail and Northstar commuter rail is any indication, once the funding agreement is signed, Congress follows through with the money.

It’s a big pay when and if that happens. The $954 million CCLRT project by one estimate includes about $380 million that will be spent by contractors to employ more than 3,000 workers.


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