ST. PAUL - National, state and local officials will host an open house Wednesday in Willmar to share information on the State Rail Plan’s development, including potential commuter travel along the Little Crow Line.
The Legislature passed a bill last spring to conduct a study of all rail corridors in Minnesota. That includes the Little Crow Transitway, which runs through Litchfield and the heart of West Central Minnesota. The study is designed to determine what - if anything - should be done to reduce pressure along Highway 12 west of the Twin Cities. Wednesday’s open house will focus on the feasibility of implementing a commuter rail line along existing tracks, generating a progressive level of knowledge and input.
State Reps. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, and Al Juhnke, D-Willmar, both will attend the open house and urge area residents to participate in the discussion.
“We’re looking at possibilities and are gauging the interest in communities it affects,” Urdahl said. “We look forward to receiving feedback and fielding questions from local residents.”
“I’m very pleased the Department of Transportation agreed to hold a meeting in Willmar to fully consider the Twin City-Willmar-Sioux Falls rail route.” said Juhnke. “Our ridership on this line would be close to other state lines receiving high priority treatment; it is important we make every effort to bring passenger rail to our region of the state.”
The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at the MnDot headquarters, 2505 Transportation Road in Willmar.
Dean Urdahl represents District 18B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The district includes most of Meeker County and a portion of Wright County. This is Urdahl’s fourth term in the Legislature after being elected in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.