The federal government last week officially agreed to cover half the nearly $1 billion cost for the 11-mile Central Corridor light-rail line that will connect the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Local officials were eagerly awaiting the formal federal commitment to provide $478 million in financing for the line that will run through the capitol complex and the University of Minnesota. The funds would arrive in installments, so some officials remain worried over the future timing of payments due to federal budgetary pressures and partisan politics.

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