Aldridge/Collisys wins system contract

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ST. PAUL – Sept. 22, 2010 – The Metropolitan Council today awarded Aldridge/Collisys, a joint venture, an $87.9 million systems contract to build the traction-power substations and overhead contact system for the Central Corridor LRT Project.

Aldridge/Collisys also will construct the communications system, train-to-wayside communications, radio, public address system and train control system with control centers, wayside signals and remotely controlled power-operated switches. 

Their bid includes $85.9 million of Central Corridor project expense (including up to $3.1 million in sales tax), compared with the systems project budget of $89.6 million. The bid also includes $1.9 million to build two Hiawatha traction power substations in support of three-car operations on that line. Metro Transit, Hiawatha’s operator, will pay for those two substations. Limited three-car train service on HLRT began this month with existing fleet to better manage peak demand. HLRT will need additional capacity to meet increasing demand. Aldridge/Collisys will begin its work this fall on the computer/control system at Hiawatha’s Rail Control Center. Aldridge is based in Libertyville, IL, and Collisys is based in New Hope, Minn. Aldridge/Collisys met the 15 percent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal for the contract.

This is the third major construction contract for the project. Contracts awarded to date are running about $30 million below budget, with one remaining major contract award for the operation and maintenance facility in St. Paul scheduled later this year. Budget savings will flow into a required project contingency fund for unexpected expenses. 

Construction began after Labor Day east of the state Capitol on Robert and 12th streets north of Interstate 94. Most of the heavy construction on University Avenue will occur in 2011 between Emerald Street and Hamline Avenue and in 2012 between Hamline and Robert. The work in downtown St. Paul will occur in 2011-2012. 

Walsh Construction is building the line’s eastern seven miles in St. Paul, and Ames-McCrossan will construct the line’s western three miles in Minneapolis. 

Ames-McCrossan will begin prep work this fall to retrofit the Washington Avenue Bridge to accommodate LRT trains by strengthening the bridge piers. This work will not affect vehicular or pedestrian/bicycle traffic on the bridge during the fall 2010 semester. In December, crews will begin the process to tie in the Central Corridor line from the Hiawatha line just west of the Cedar-Riverside Station to west of the future West Bank Station. The bulk of the construction on the Minneapolis segment will start in spring 2011.

The project is able to begin heavy construction due to advance funding commitments from its partners and federal approval of this arrangement. Under this same arrangement, the project began improvements in May on streets around the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota and utility relocation work last year on Fourth Street in St. Paul. The FTA has agreed to reimburse the project partners for the federal share of this advanced work once it awards a Full Funding Grant Agreement in late 2010. 

Media Contact

Laura Baenen 
Communications Manager 
Central Corridor LRT Project 
651-602-1797 (office)  
612-269-4365 (cell)

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