Northtown Line (fantasy transit)

A fantasy Northtown Line is based on an Environmental Impact Statement done for a Northeast LRT line in the early 1990s.  More recently, the Access Minneapolis plan recommended a streetcar along the Central Ave corridor from downtown into Columbia Heights.  My fantasy Northtown Line is based on the early 1990s proposal and is modified to serve as more of a local/semi-regional access line, while the proposed Northstar and Bethel commuter rail lines would provide more express/long distance commuting.

This fantasy line begins in the median of Hennepin Ave while crossing the Mississippi River.  At the Hennepin/1st Ave NE split, the line continues along Hennepin to Central Ave, going underground between the river and Spring St NE.  The line follows the west side of Central Ave between 7th St NE and 18th Ave NE, bridging over Broadway Ave NE after emerging from the tunnel at Spring St NE.  At 18th Ave NE, the line shifts to use the alleyway between Jackson St NE and Central Ave.  It uses this alleyway up to 27th Ave NE, bridging over Lowry Ave.  North of 27th Ave NE, the line cuts through a portion of St. Anthony Cemetery before shifting to the median of Central Ave.  It continues north up the Central Ave median to just north of 53rd Ave NE, with bridges over the Canadian Pacific tracks near 36th Ave NE and 37th Ave NE, and tunnels under 49th Ave NE and 53rd Ave NE.

Just north of 53rd Ave NE, the line veers northwest away from Central Ave, crosses over I-694 just west of Central Ave, follows the north side of I-694 over 7th St NE, then turns north to follow the University Ave median. Along University, there are bridges over the University Ave northbound lanes and 57th Ave NE, Mississippi St and Osborne Rd.  Near 85th Ave NE, the line cuts through the western parts of the Northtown Mall parking lot.

North of Northtown Mall, the line bridges over the CSAH 10/University Ave NE intersection, then returns to grade and follows the west side of University Ave. Just north of the US 10/MN 610 overpasses, the line splits from University and veers left to follow the east side of US 10 through Coon Rapids. The line would tunnel underneath Foley Blvd, pass under Egret Blvd, bridge over 111th Ave and Creek Meadows Dr, tunnel underneath Hanson Blvd, and tunnel underneath Main St/MN 242.  Just north of Main St/MN 242, the line bridges over US 10 and heads west through the new commercial/"town square" development bounded by Main St, Round Lake Blvd, and US 10. The line bridges over Round Lake Blvd, then follows the north side of the BNSF tracks underneath US 10 and over 7th Ave, and ends at the Anoka Northstar station just east of 4th Ave.

Stations would be provided at the following:

The following map shows the routing of my fantasy Northtown LRT line:

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Page last modified 23 December, 2007