ST. PAUL – March 1, 2011 – Two hearings will be held March 16 to take public testimony on the Supplemental Environmental Assessment reviewing the potential loss of business revenue along the Central Corridor LRT route during construction.
The meetings are scheduled for 8 a.m. in the Lao Family Community of Minnesota second-floor conference room, 320 University Ave. W., in St. Paul and at 6 p.m. at Goodwill/Easter Seals, 553 Fairview Ave. N., in St. Paul. Individuals’ comments will be recorded so their testimony can become part of the environmental process.
At the end of the 30-day comment period, the Metropolitan Council and the Federal Transit Administration will respond to all comments as part of the final Supplemental Environmental Assessment document.
People with special needs should contact community outreach coordinator Shoua Lee for reasonable accommodations at the hearings. Her contact information is [email protected] of 651-602-1014.
The Supplemental Environmental Assessment addresses the potential loss of business revenue as an adverse impact of the construction of the Central Corridor LRT Project, including mitigation activities. The assessment was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for environmental review and pursuant to the U.S. District Court’s Jan. 27 ruling on the NAACP’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Supplemental Environmental Assessment is posted on the Central Corridor LRT Project website at www.centralcorridor.org and is available for public review and comment for 30 days. In addition to giving testimony at the hearings, the public may submit written comments by March 31 to Kathryn O’Brien at the address below or via email at [email protected], or mail to Kathryn O’Brien, Environmental Services Manager, Central Corridor Project Office, 540 Fairview Ave. N., Ste. 200, St. Paul, MN 55104.
Copies are also available for review at the following locations:
• Metropolitan Council library, 390 N. Robert St., St. Paul
• Central Corridor Project Office, 540 Fairview Ave. N., Ste. 200, St. Paul
• Minnesota Department of Transportation library, Transportation Building, 395 John Ireland Blvd., St. Paul
• Central Corridor Resource Center, 1080 University Ave. W., St. Paul
• Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale St., St. Paul
• St. Paul Central Library, 90 W. 4th St., St. Paul
• St. Anthony Park Branch Library, 2245 W. Como Ave., St. Paul
• Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
• Rice Street Library, 1011 Rice St., St. Paul
• Hamline-Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul
• Franklin Library, 1314 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis
• Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
• Southeast Library, 1222 4th St. SE, Minneapolis
• Hennepin County Law Library, 300 S. 6th St., C-2451 Government Center, Minneapolis
As part of the Supplemental Environmental Assessment process, two town hall/open house meetings were held Feb. 17. At least 150 people attended. Staff from the FTA and the Central Corridor Project Office listened and answered questions on a one-to-one basis. Comments related to the potential loss of revenue by local businesses were included in the NEPA process.
The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and the University of Minnesota. Construction began in late summer 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, and service will begin in 2014. The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at the Target Field Station.
The Metropolitan Council will be the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. Funding is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Counties Transit Improvement Board, state of Minnesota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties’ regional railroad authorities, city of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.
The Central Corridor LRT Project website is www.centralcorridor.org.