Rush Line Corridor to host open house

A pair of meetings set to discuss alternative routes

A pair of open houses will take place to gather public input for the Rush Line Corridor pre-development project, a light-rail and bus transit project study that will review a pair of proposed routes through the St. Paul suburbs.

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 28 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Maplewood Public Library. The second meeting is planned for Thursday, May 29 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Forest Lake Transit Center. Both meetings will cover the same topics and will give the public a chance to voice their concerns, offer comments and learn about the project, which is in the initial planning stages.

The Rush Line corridor is an 80-mile stretch that goes from Hinckley to downtown St. Paul’s Union Depot.

The first proposed route would go along Interstate 35E from Union Depot to Forest Lake, and the other proposal would go along the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority right-of-way from the Union Depot towards White Bear Lake.

In the project study’s infant stages, planners have been discussing what would be the best mode of transportation -- buses, light-rail trains, or perhaps something else.
“The study is going to be really working with the community and the planners to discuss the best alignment, on how the corridor would start and end, and what highways it would hit,” said Deborah Carter McCoy, spokesperson for the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority. “There hasn’t been a determination yet on trains and highways.”

While only one meeting has taken place thus far, Carter McCoy said that things are off to a good start with the public, and many questions have been answered.
“People were very responsive and had a lot of interest in it,” she said of the first meeting.

This project study comes from a project that dates back five years and was known as the “Rush Line Corridor Alternatives Analysis.” An 18-month study started in early 2014 is ongoing, and the open houses are part of that study.

While there is no definitive date of construction, Carter McCoy and the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority are hoping for a 2020 completion date. But, as Carter McCoy put it, “it’s too early to tell. We’re still in the very early stages.”

Tim Faklis can be reached at 651-748-7814, at tfaklis@lillienews.com, or on Twitter @tfaklisnews.

 

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