The Metropolitan Council said Wednesday the lone bidder is Lunda/C.S. McCrossan, which bid $799 million to build the 14.5-mile linking downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. Ames/Kraemer, which bid $812 million, has apparently dropped out of the running, Met Council spokeswoman Kate Brickman said.

The Lunda/C.S. McCrossan bid is valid through Nov. 15.

Originally, the council rejected four bids in September 2017, ranging from $797 million to $1.08 billion to build the largely suburban light-rail line. The project was rebid, and the two bidders resurfaced with bids that were higher than the first round in May, expecting the project to be awarded in August. But the award was delayed until late September, and now mid-November.

Brickman said the council is waiting for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to award the project a “Letter of No Prejudice,” which is expected to contribute $829 million to the project. Such a letter would permit the council to spend local funds on the project with the expectation that federal funds would be available soon for reimbursement.

The council hopes Southwest will begin service in 2023.