City Drops Appeal of MnDOT Freight Rail Decision

Environmental review of a potential freight rail reroute will handled by the federal government as part of light rail planning.

St. Louis Park City Council voted on Tuesday to drop its appeal of the decision by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to not pursue a rigorous environmental review in connection with a potential freight rail reroute.

Last month, MnDOT announced it was essentially pulling out of the environmental process altogether because the issue of a freight rail reroute will be considered at the federal level as part of the planning for the Southwest Light Rail Transit line. Officials are considering rerouting some freight traffic through St. Louis Park to make way for the light rail line, which is scheduled to open in 2018.

The city originally in August after MnDOT decided against pursuing an extensive environmental impact statement for the proposed reroute. Local grassroots group Safety in the Park out of concern that MnDOT was brushing aside the group's issues with a potential reroute.

In an email sent Wednesday, Safety in the Park officials said they were not dropping their lawsuit. They said the appeal could keep pressure on officials to consider alternatives to the reroute.


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