Audit blasts cost overruns on Met Council light rail project

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Legislative Auditor says the Metropolitan Council put itself on the hook for covering huge cost overruns on the Southwest Light Rail Transit project even though it didn’t have the money.

And it says the council failed to develop a contingency plan for finding the funding.

The proposed 14.5-mile light rail line would run from downtown Minneapolis to suburban Eden Prairie. In a sharply critical report Wednesday, the nonpartisan auditor’s office also said council officials have not been fully transparent about the snowballing costs and delays on the project.

Charles Zelle, who chairs the council, pushed back against much of the report, saying it “minimizes the Met Council’s transparency and accountability.”