Midtown Greenway Trail [not the transit thread]

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1532
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 10:41 am

Re: Midtown Greenway Trail [not the transit thread]

Postby talindsay » October 29th, 2020, 3:52 pm

There will be several miles of light rail running in the same corridor as freight rail in the very near future, I'm certain they could design a delivery spot somewhere along that. The Southwest tracks will certainly be operational before the 31st Ave S bridge becomes unworkable.

bubzki2
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 759
Joined: September 19th, 2012, 5:38 pm
Location: Snelling-Hamline

Re: Midtown Greenway Trail [not the transit thread]

Postby bubzki2 » June 30th, 2021, 10:02 am

Response to my message urging MnDOT to leverage bridge repair subsidy to bring railroad to negotiating table for Greenway extension received from MnDOT commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. I reverted with a detailed list of reasons why this response is an utter cop-out.

***

Thank you for contacting me recently to express your strong support for extending the Midtown Greenway over the Mississippi River and your concerns regarding the use of public funds to repair the rail bridge over 31st Avenue South, approximately three quarters of a mile to the west of the river along the Midtown Greenway.

As both the state Commissioner of Transportation and a recreational cyclist, I understand the importance of providing access to transportation options that can benefit individual and environmental health and wellness. Please be assured that MnDOT values and prioritizes this access.

Connecting the Midtown Greenway and St. Paul is an important goal, and MnDOT stands ready to support city and county leaders in efforts to realize this connection. I committed to local officials this spring that MnDOT would support their efforts by encouraging renewed conversations on this topic between Canadian Pacific and elected leaders in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Hennepin County and Ramsey County. I have begun outreach activities consistent with this commitment and will continue to support locally-led efforts to evaluate options for the development of a bicycle connection across the river.

Minnesota Commercial Railroad applied for financial assistance to make repairs to corroding bridge supports and the deck of the 31st Avenue bridge. Their application was reviewed by an expert panel comprised of both rail and economic development professionals. The panel determined the project provides strong safety, economic and environmental benefits. As Commissioner, I do not personally serve on selection panels. It would be a significant deviation from standard agency practice to disregard the expertise of a panel such at this.

Repairing the bridge is critical to ensuring continued safety for trains, rail staff, people who walk and bike on the bridge, individuals who travel below the bridge, and the state’s environmental and economic health. If rail service in this corridor was discontinued, there would be an upsurge in trucking, causing an increase in costs, traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses that rely on Minnesota Commercial trains create over 500 jobs. Stopping rail service would likely result in job loss and economic hardship for both businesses and individuals.

Considering the safety, economic and environmental benefits of the 31st Avenue bridge project and the negative impacts of reduced rail service, MnDOT would be remiss in its obligations if it denied funding to this project. In fact, failure to provide funding to a project that successfully and clearly meets all identified criteria would expose MnDOT and state taxpayers to potentially costly and time-consuming litigation.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Commissioner


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Zkools20 and 1 guest