Regional Rail Property and Permits
Property purchases are limited to those parcels which will be necessary for a transit system's implementation. In many cases, this acquisition occurs many years before a system is constructed through purchases of abandoned or ready to be abandoned rail corridors.
By acquiring complete corridors, the Washington County Regional Rail Authority (WCRRA) is able to preserve existing transportation corridors instead of trying to create new corridors in the future. By preserving instead of creating, the WCRRA is able to use its funds in a very cost-effective manner. Property acquisitions, future transit implementation, and working with other governmental institutions allows the WCRRA to fulfill its mission of maintaining Washington County residents' high quality of life.
Hardwood Creek Regional Trail
The WCRRA currently owns the former Burlington Northern Railroad corridor from Hugo to the Chisago County line. Since this property is not currently used for transit purposes, the WCRRA allows for its interim use by the Washington County Parks Division.
The Parks Division's Hardwood Creek Regional Trail is constructed along the 9.5-mile corridor. Once implemented, future transit will require the relocation of the trail from the center to either the west or east side of the corridor. The existing corridor is wide enough to accommodate both trail and transit needs.
Red Rock Corridor - Newport Station
The WCRRA purchased the former Knox Lumber site at the southwest corner of Interstate 494 and Trunk Highway 61 in the City of Newport. The site will be a future stop along the Red Rock Corridor Transitway. The station will be designed to serve express bus in the interim and commuter rail in the long-term. Station area planning work is currently underway to determine development potential around the station.
The WCRRA may issue permits and leases that allow private and public utilities to utilize portions of its property in accordance with the adopted WCRRA Property Management Plan.