Author: Jeff Strate

An Eden Prairie resident since 1994, Jeff Strate has served as an organizer for local open-space preservation initiatives and get-out-the-vote parks improvement referendums. Jeff has also served on the Eden Prairie Human Rights and Diversity Commission, conservation area planning task forces, the Southwest Light Rail Community Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Land Trust. Jeff studied journalism and mass communication at the University of Minnesota and professionally has been a television producer/journalist and occasional host or reporter in the Twin Cities, New York, Boston, and Trenton and has written for websites and magazines. He is currently a producer of award-winning community access programing through Southwest Community Television (SWTV).

January announcements of a re-calculated $2.7 billion price for the Southwest Light Rail project and the delay of passenger service to 2027 continues to be a dust-up. This is not the 14.5-mile project’s first rodeo, but it has been roped and tied down by a short stretch in Minneapolis with a water problem. The project’s controversial cut-and-cover tunnel a bit north of Lake Street is the largest chunk of what the Met Council calculates will be a $450 million or more price hike. The re-inclusion of Eden Prairie’s Town Center station into the project at $4 million, and the mile-long railroad…

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In a Thursday, Feb. 3, news release, Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case Eden issued his reactions to the revised, estimated $2.75 billion cost and the delay of passenger service of the Metro Green Line Extension (SWLRT) until 2027. The news about the light rail transit project was announced during the Metropolitan Council meeting on January 26 and again during the February 2 Corridor Management Committee Meeting, a SWLRT oversight panel of mostly elected officials from Hennepin County and the five cities through which the 14.5-mile long line will connect. Metro Green Line Extension Director Jim Alexander explained during the two…

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The Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project is now slated by the Metropolitan Council for passenger service in 2027. Minnesota’s most expensive public works project’s revised, final bill could hover around $2.75 billion. A year ago, the 14.5-mile, light rail project connecting Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis was slated to carry riders in 2023 with an estimated $2 billion price tag. “Unexpected” construction challenges in Minneapolis and, to a lesser degree, a price hike for the Town Center Station in Eden Prairie have increased the projected tab. Note: EPLN will gradually begin referring to “Southwest Light…

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The City of Eden Prairie’s Words in Action contest begins January 18 in honor of civil rights leader, author and educator Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Application forms, categories and guidelines are posted on the contest website here.Youth, 18-years and younger, are encouraged to submit essays, poems and art, video and audio projects inspired by specific quotes from King’s speeches, books, articles and letters that speak to racial equality and social justice. The submission deadline is Monday, Jan. 31. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and honored during the Eden Prairie City Council meeting. Their entries will be…

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The Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District (RPBCWD) is seeking applicants for its Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) through Tuesday, Jan. 18. The committee represents citizen perspectives and provides advisories to the Watershed District’s Board of Managers on issues that affect lakes, creeks, ponds and wetlands within its 55-square mile area. District managers and professional staff are also advised by a technical advisory committee and consulting engineers regarding pollution, invasive species, stream restoration and requests for construction permits. The Noble Hill residential project near Riley Creek and Fredrick-Miller Spring is a recent, controversial example of issues that the watershed district reviews…

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A Metro Green Line Extension construction update issued on Friday, Dec. 17, includes alerts regarding Eden Prairie roads. During construction, the name “Metro Green Line Extension” has been interchangeable with “Southwest Light Rail.” This week On Wednesday, Dec. 22, eastbound Highway 212 will close from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Highway 62 and Shady Oak Road. Traffic will be detoured to the off- and on-ramps at Shady Oak Road. On Thursday, Dec. 23, westbound Hwy. 212 will close from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Traffic will be detoured on westbound Hwy. 62 to Interstate 494. These closures are needed…

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