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Local Issue: Transit Hub
Submitted by Rob Hardy on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 8:55am
On December 4, 2012, the Northfield City Council approved a recommendation to locate a proposed local transit hub on the Q-Block, on the southwest corner of Second Street and Highway 3. This is an important step forward in a project that began in 2001, with the completion of a Rice County local and regional transit study that identified a need for a transit hub in Northfield. The proposed transit hub is envisioned as the central element of a redevelopment of the Q-Block which would also include the relocated and renovated Northfield depot. For those interested in learning more about this issue, here is a timeline and a compilation of documents and links related to the transit hub project.
2001 Rice County transit study identifies the need for a local and regional transit hub in Northfield
2003 The City of Northfield submits a request for a transit hub to MnDOT
2006 Congress earmarks $277,200 for a transit hub, requiring a 20% local match (total: $346,500)
2007 The City identifies a site on Laurel Court (behind Walgreens) for the proposed transit hub, and submits a request to MnDOT, whch approves the request. The City envisions the site as a dual transit hub and trial head for the Mill Towns Trail.
2009 The City undertakes a Highway 3 & 19 Multimodal Transportation Study “to carefully consider how all modes of traffic and transportation users will be able to safely and efficiently access the future transit hub.” The study is undertaken as part of the process of applying for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
2011 The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires the City to reopen the site selection process for the transit hub.
2012 An engineering consultant considers three sites for the proposed transit hub: the Laurel Court site, a site in Babcock Park, and the Q Block. Save the Northfield Depot advocates for the Q Block site as part of its plan to redevelop the old depot; the Mill Town Trails board advocates for the Babcock Park site as a potential dual transit hub and trail head. City staff recommends the Q Block site.
December 4, 2012: The City Council votes 6 to 1 to approve the Q Block as the transit hub site. Mary Rossing casts the one no vote. The site is now eligible for $277,200 in Federal money for environmental clean-up.
2011 Transit Hub Project (City of Northfield website)
Video of the December 4, 2012 City Council meeting, beginning with the transit hub discussion.
Rice County Transit Study (Rice County 2001) Large PDF file (8.8 MB)
“Highway 3 & 19 Multimodal Transportation Study” Project Website (City of Northfield 2009)
Multimodal Transportation Study Open Houses (City of Northfield July 22 & August 28, 2009)
"Alternatives Analysis" of Potential Transit Hub Sites (WSB & Associates November 8, 2012)
Packet for December 4, 2012 City Council meeting (transit hub material begins on page 27)
Save the Northfield Depot
Save the Northfield Depot YouTube Channel (oral histories, etc.)
DONATE to Save the Northfield Depot (via GiveMN.org)
- 2012 TIGER Trail Project (City of Northfield website)
- "TIGER Trail cost balloons" (KYMN April 12, 2013)
- "Video: Zweifel Gives Tour of Highway 3 Underpass Project" (Northfield Patch December 12, 2012). Councilor Erica Zweifel talks about the TIGER Trail.
- "Eminent domain petition a 'backup' to TIGER Trail negotiations" (Northfield News April 5, 2012)
Recent News Stories
"Save the Northfield Depot receives funds to clean up asbestos" (Northfield News December 17, 2012)
"Transit hub heads to Q Block in Northfield" (Northfield News December 7, 2012)
"Northfield tries to save its 1888 train depot" (StarTribune December 5, 2012)
"Q Block Transit Hub and Save the Northfield Depot: Compatible Projects" (Northfield Patch December 1, 2012)
“City staff recommends site for transit hub” (Northfield News November 28, 2012)
“Land sale puts depot restoration into fundraising phase” (Northfield News March 23, 2012)
“Feds question transit hub site selection” (Northfield News October 7, 2011)