Regional Railroad Authority

The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) was established in 1980 as a political subdivision and local government unit of Minnesota. It was established as a separate political entity to plan, design and implement light rail transit in Hennepin County.

Oversight

The Board of Commissioners for the authority consists of the seven members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Peter McLaughlin is currently chair of the HCRRA.

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Meetings

The Regional Railroad Authority holds its regular meetings immediately following each regular County Board meeting (generally scheduled for Tuesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.). Meetings are broadcast live on the Metropolitan Cable Network (Channel 6) on the day of the meeting and re-played on Fridays at 8 p.m.

Questions about agenda items may be directed to the Chair of the Authority, Commissioner.McLaughlin@co.hennepin.mn.us,  or the clerk at 612-348-7726.

Corridors and trails

The Railroad Authority currently owns 55 miles of corridors, 11 sites suitable for future park-and-ride lots or stations; and 2 railroad depots; for a total of 83 acres.

The corridors (PDF) include:

Although acquired for future transportation needs, recreational trails have been constructed on these corridors as an interim use. In 2008, with the construction of the the Dakota Rail and Northeast Diagonal corridors, all 55 miles of corridors are devoted to interim use.

About the Regional Railroad Authority

Partners

The authority collaborates with many government agencies and a variety of public and nonprofit partners to promote transit development and implement interim uses of rail corridors.

Several HCRRA-owned corridors have found popular interim uses as bicycle and pedestrian trails. However, by statute the HCRRA cannot construct or operate recreational trails, so it partners with the City of Minneapolis and Three Rivers Park District to operate and maintain trails such as the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and the soon-to-be constructed Dakota Rail Regional Trail which runs through seven municipalities in western Hennepin County.

Background

When established in 1980, the HCRRA's mission was to acquire abandoned railroad corridors in order to preserve them for future transportation use. Today, the HCRRA continues this mission, as well as advocating, planning, and funding rail transportation corridors which will serve the county and the region. The HCRRA is one of several regional railroad authorities in Minnesota.

As a unit of government, the HCRRA has authority to establish levies to fund rail transit projects. HCRRA was a capital investment partner in the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line, contributing $84.2 million toward design and construction (11.8 percent of the total capital investment).

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Bottineau Transitway DEIS public hearings in May

The Bottineau Transitway Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) document is now available for public review and comment through May 29. Public hearings scheduled May 7, 8 , 13 and 14. For more information visit bottineautransitway.org

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