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Light rail to bring heavy vibrations to U of M research

Vice President for Research at the University of Minnesota Timothy Mulcahy decribes the concerns the university has about expansion of the light rail system, while standing above Washington Avenue, the proposed installation route for the project. 

Not less than 30 feet away from the proposed site, students and faculty conduct various types of sensitive research that the electricity and vibration from the light rail trains could put at risk.

Mulcahy is clear to say the university is in favor of light rail transit, but the project needs to support a solution, such as the one at the University of Washington, to prevent interference with university research.

Read more about the sparring on the Central Corridor light rail line.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/01/2009 - 09:56 pm.

    The U shouldn’t be demanding status quo

    In his July 27 commentary “Light rail: Sleepless in Minneapolis,” Tim Mulcahy of the University of Minnesota wrote: “To establish a win-win scenario we seek engineering that guarantees that the trains will not increase vibrations and electromagnetic interference (EMI) in our laboratories to levels that exceed what exists today, and monitoring systems to ensure that continued operation of the line remains within these standards.”

    I live in a neighborhood that has airplane traffic. This was not always the case. Do I have a right to demand that noise not exceed the levels of 1950 rather than bow to what is needed for the greater public good?

    Some mitigation is indeed necessary. But to ask that the public keep things exactly as they are as far as vibrations and EMI simply isn’t reasonable.

    It is time for the U to spell out the exact problems and the cost for the mitigation. How much would it cost — a real number, say a quotation from vendors — to move the NMR lab to one of the new buildings under construction? What is the possibility that NIH funding could be acquired to move the NMR lab?

    Asking for things to stay as they are is simply unreasonable and not economically possible.

    This leaves the U open to the appearance of trying to stop the project because it doesn’t like the route. Please note I said “appearance.”

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