The Southwest LRT Project staff is busy this winter finalizing designs in preparation for the start of construction in mid-2017.
The final work began after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the project’s entry into engineering at the end of 2016. The final step to secure federal funding is expected later this year when the FTA approves a Full Funding Grant Agreement, the federal commitment to pay for half of the project’s capital costs, or $928.8 million.
“We continue full steam ahead on the Southwest LRT project,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck. “The continued confidence and support from the FTA underscores this project’s strength as an efficient and effective way to connect people with jobs and expand opportunities in our region.”
When the 14.5-mile line opens in 2021 as the METRO Green Line Extension, it will provide access to about 200,000 jobs.
Project expected to create 7,500 construction jobs
“Contractors are hungry for the chance to work on the Southwest LRT line,” project director Jim Alexander said. “The Southwest LRT Project will create an estimated 7,500 construction jobs, totaling $350 million in take-home pay for Minnesota workers, who will come from all over the state.”
Southwest LRT is among only four New Starts projects in the nation in the engineering phase. The Blue Line Extension LRT Project received FTA approval this month to finalize its designs by the end of the year in preparation for the start of construction in 2018. Entry of the Blue Line Extension into the engineering phase makes the Twin Cities the only region in the country to have two projects currently in this stage of development.
Blue Line Extension to finish design by end of year for 2018 construction start
“The Blue Line Extension LRT Project will create an estimated 6,500 construction jobs, totaling $300 million in payroll for Minnesota workers, who will come from all over the state,” project director Dan Soler said.
When the 13-mile line opens in 2021 after Southwest LRT, it will provide access to about 180,000 jobs along the line and in downtown Minneapolis. The FTA would pay 49 percent of the capital costs of the project, or $753 million.