In 2001, the Legislature directed the Office of the Legislative Auditor to prepare a complete accounting of all federal, state, and local costs of the Hiawatha Avenue Light Rail Transit Line. We were directed to submit an interim report of the cost accounting to the Legislature by March 1, 2002, and to submit a final report to the Legislature by March 1, 2003. This interim report identifies costs totaling $210,027,018 that were incurred as of December 31, 2001. At that date, the project was approximately 32 percent complete.
To conduct this review, we gained an understanding of the project and its related accounting records, interviewed individuals involved with the project, and reviewed selected supporting documentation for project costs. However, we did not conduct a complete audit of project costs.
The Hiawatha Corridor Light Rail Transit Line (LRT) will operate on the Hiawatha/Trunk Highway 55 Corridor, linking downtown Minneapolis, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and the Mall of America in Bloomington. The Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, and the cities of Minneapolis and Bloomington have cooperated in the planning, design, and construction of the LRT. In January 2001, the Federal Transit Administration approved a Full Funding Grant Agreement and committed $334,277,500 to the project. Total approved funding for the project was $675,409,818.