Approval was granted for an environmental review and "pre-project development activities" for the proposed $US 200m, 5.5km Nicollet Avenue tram line. The alternatives analysis for this project is nearly complete and the City Council has already approved light rail as its preferred modal choice for the scheme.
An environmental assessment will also be carried out for a second tram line along West Broadway in North Minneapolis. The West Broadway line would fill in a gap not covered by current LRT expansion in the Twin Cities.
The recommendations come as the neighbouring city of St Paul considers the construction of a 6.6km east-west tram line along Seventh Street from Arcade Street to Randolph Avenue, which will supplement the LRT Green Line due to open next year.
The study for the West Broadway Line would be completed by next autumn, and the city council anticipates construction would be funded by Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the Metropolitan Council, which has yet to sign off the proposal.