Last chance to comment on Kenilworth LRT route

At 5 p.m. today, the scoping period – which includes all publicly stated and written comments on the proposed Kenilworth Light-rail Transit (LRT) route from Downtown to Eden Prairie – will end.

Those still wishing to voice their opinion on the proposed alignments and potential impact on Southwest neighborhoods have a few options.

Written public comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. today. They can be sent to: Southwest Project Manager, 417 North 5th Street, Suite 320, Minneapolis, MN 55401; faxed to 612-348-9710; or emailed to [email protected]

The scoping period is the first step of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The DEIS is slated for completion and publication in December 2009. It should outline a single route, address the impacts of LRT on Southwest communities and tell how much it will cost.

Scoping comment forms can be found in a link – which contains a .pdf – at the bottom of this page.

Currently, three – maybe four – alignments are being considered. Two would begin at a proposed intermodal transit station outside the future Target Field and snake through the chain of lakes on the way to south Eden Prairie. The third option begins at 4th Street Downtown, runs south to Lake & Lyndale and then west through Uptown.

The first three proposed routes would eventually make the turn toward Eden Prairie at a station to be located just west of Lake Calhoun.

However, a recently proposed fourth option would run from Downtown, head south along Portland and possibly Park Avenues, and then west along the Midtown Greenway.

In order to get to the suburbs, the electric trains would have to speed through Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods, which has sparked debate. Depending on the route, the proposed alignments could affect Cedar-Isles-Dean, Kenwood, Bryn Mawr, East Isles, the Wedge, Whittier and Stevens Square.

The $1 billion-plus project will tentatively be on track by 2015.