Local officials are wasting no time moving forward on the Southwest Light Rail line after the federal government indicated it would likely pay close to half of the estimated two-billion-dollar cost. The Hennepin County Board voted Thursday to spend up to 435 million dollars to begin construction on the 15-mile line between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. Shortly after, the Metropolitan Council awarded a 799-million-dollar construction contract to joint venture Lunda/C.S. McCrossan. Lunda is based in Black River Falls, Wisconsin and McCrossan is headquartered in the Twin Cities. The Southwest Light Rail line will have 16 stations, 29 new bridges and two tunnels — including one nearly a half-mile long in the Kenilworth corridor of Minneapolis. Preliminary construction starts this winter. The line is scheduled to begin service in 2023.