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On Aug. 3, 2020, Metro Transit and Hennepin County issued a joint statement that they will no longer pursue construction of the Blue Line Extension using eight miles of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor. Instead, they will explore alternatives that do not use the BNSF corridor.

On Sept. 15, 2020, the Crystal City Council approved a statement of principles to guide the city's participation in the exploration of alternatives to the BNSF alignment.

The city has been working cooperatively with Metro Transit, Hennepin County and our neighboring cities throughout the design of this project. See the information and links below about the BNSF alignment which is no longer being pursued. The city will continue to work with Metro Transit, Hennepin County and our adjacent cities to explore a new direction for the project.

Next steps for the project:
• Identify a community supported alternative route for environmental review and approval.
• Inform and involve stakeholders around new project direction.
• Contract with organizations to support engagement.
• Work with stakeholders to co-create a community informed project engagement framework for 2021.

The city staff contact is Community Development Director John Sutter at 763-531-1130, john.sutter@crystalmn.gov.



The following information and links are related to the proposed alignment that would have used the BNSF corridor.  Please note that this proposed alignment is no longer being pursued by Metro Transit.

Metro Transit is proposing to expand light rail transit (LRT) service to the northwest suburbs. The Metro Blue Line Extension (route map) would run from Minneapolis to Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park. It would provide direct, “one seat” service from Crystal to regional destinations like downtown Minneapolis, MSP International Airport and the Mall of America. Riders could also transfer to the Green Line LRT serving the University of Minnesota and St. Paul to the east, and St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Eden Prairie to the southwest.

Crystal would have a station and park & ride lot at the southwest corner of Bass Lake Rd. and Bottineau Blvd.

The “municipal consent” phase was completed in March 2016. The City Council held a public hearing on Feb. 16, 2016 and the City Council adopted this resolution on Feb. 29, 2016. The resolution states that the city chooses to neither approve nor disapprove the municipal consent plans, which means that the plans are deemed approved under state law. Note that the proposed pedestrian bridge over Bottineau Blvd. for the Bass Lake Rd. station has not been included in the Blue Line Extension project. See the city's Sept. 12, 2016 letter to Metropolitan Council on this subject.

METRO Blue Line Extension project plans are complete. The next steps prior to bidding and construction are for Metro Transit to secure an easement to use eight miles of the BNSF corridor and apply for a grant from the Federal Transit Administration. Visit the METRO Blue Line Extension webpage for more information. You may also view the roll plot for the Crystal segment and the  updates presented to the city council on July 18, 2017, Oct. 12, 2017Jan. 16, 2018 and April 17, 2018

Bass Lake Road Station Area Planning
Beginning in 2015, Hennepin County and the City of Crystal collaborated on a land use plan for the area around the Bass Lake Rd. station. Community meetings were held in September and November, 2015 and January 2016. The final report was completed in July, 2016. Click here to view materials related to this plan. You may also contact City Planner Dan Olson at dan.olson@crystalmn.gov or 763-531-1142.

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