Obama fast-tracks Gateway Corridor project

Review and permitting processes to speed up

President Barack Obama has fast-tracked the review and permitting process of the Gateway Corridor Project, along with 10 others nationwide that he saw as necessary to “cutting bureaucratic red tape that stalls good projects from breaking ground.”
“We’re launching a new national permitting center to implement these reforms.  We are aiming to put every major infrastructure project on a public dashboard so everybody can go online; track our progress; hold us accountable; make sure things are coming in on time, on budget; make sure your taxpayer money is being used well,” Obama said during a May 14 speech in New York, discussing the 11 projects.

The process will expedite the review and permitting process, with hopes to get the construction process moving faster than expected.

Gateway Corridor public transit line is in the planning stages and would run between Union Depot in St. Paul and and Woodbury adjacent to Interstate 94 and Hudson Road. The service would likely go throughout the day and evening, with stops at 11 stations on the East Side, southern Maplewood, Oakdale and Woodbury. This would also include connections to the growing regional transit system. Light rail transit or bus rapid transit is being considered.

Metropolitan Council planners were hoping to start the Gateway Corridor construction process in 2018, with completion in 2022. It’s unclear at this point how the president’s fast-track directive would speed up the process.

—Tim Faklis

 

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