Central corridor planners set to vote on alignment

Anna Ewart

After a week to cool off, Central Corridor planners are set to decide today on the alignment of the light-rail line that will span across the Twin Cities and run through campus.

The recess was meant to give the University time to consider how hard it wants to push for its preferred alignment, which would take the line through Dinkytown instead of through campus on Washington Avenue.

However, it looks like the University isn’t responding to pressure from other government agencies involved.

University President Bob Bruininks wrote a letter dated May 23 to Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell, indicating that the University isn’t throwing in the towel on this issue yet.

“In accordance with the Board of Regents Resolution dated July 12, 2001, and periodically reviewed and reaffirmed as recently as April 2008, the University cannot support any measure that calls for the elimination of the northern alignment for consideration at this time,” Bruininks wrote in the letter.

Bruininks asserts in the letter that there’s no reason to vote on the alignment now because changes are common in large transit projects. Other parties involved fear the northern alignment could delay the project, risking federal funding.

Preliminary findings show the northern alignment would not meet cost effectiveness guidelines set by the federal government.

All other project planners are happy with the Washington Avenue alignment, which would require significant traffic rerouting and possibly the removal of certain kinds of traffic from Washington Avenue all together.