MAPLE GROVE (Minn.) — Today Congressional Candidate Brian Barnes called on Governor Mark Dayton to give thorough consideration to the Southwest Light Rail Line as he makes the ultimate decision on which projects to fund with a pool of leftover bonding dollars that the legislature provided to his office to distribute.
“We can’t keep building roads to get our way out of increasing traffic levels,” said Barnes. “We need to be thinking ahead, and the Southwest Light Rail line is a great step in that direction, so I join the Twin West Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of light rail supporters from both sides of the aisle who believe this new light rail line makes sense.”
The line would run from Eden Prairie through Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park before connecting up with the Central Corridor line in Minneapolis.
The Governor requested submissions of possible projects for the $47.5 million bonding reserve. In all, 90 projects were submitted and of them, the top 37 projects were ranked in three categories, northern Minnesota projects, southern Minnesota projects, and metro projects. Of the twelve metro projects, four of them reside in the Third District. In addition to the Light Rail Line, Maple Plain submitted a $930,500 request for infrastructure improvements, Corcoran requested $1.1 million to construct a new water tower and Bloomington requested $1.35 million for improvements to its Central Station.
“I spoke with the mayor of Maple Plain today, and he told me that they have been asking for help for a long time to get this much needed project underway,” Barnes said. “If Rep. Paulsen were truly engaged in this district, and listening to people like Mayor Sweeney, he would recognize the importance of many of the projects on this list, and would join me in encouraging the Governor to make them priorities.”