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Gateway Corridor comment period under way

Gateway Corridor project coordinators say construction on the proposed transit project could start in less than five years.

But before moving forward with planning, they’re asking for community feedback.

A public comment period started Monday, March 3, and will continue through April 16.

The Gateway Corridor project proposes either a $400 million bus-rapid transit (BRT) or a $1 billion light-rail transit (LRT) to connect downtown St. Paul to the east metro.

The project is currently in its environmental-study phase and this month coordinators entered the “scoping phase” which will help determine transit alternatives.

The scoping process relies on the public for feedback, said Andy Gitzlaff, project coordinator.

The Gateway Corridor Commission will then review comments and narrow down options to pick a preferred mode before it goes to local government bodies.

Scoping is part of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) process, which is federally required to receive transit funding.

DEIS began in June 2013 and is expected to take 20 months to complete. After that, it will be presented to the Metropolitan Council for consideration.

The first scoping open house will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 24 at Guardian Angels Church in Oakdale. The second is slated for 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 25 at the Conway Recreation Center in St. Paul.

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Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.