Busiest year of Central Corridor heavy construction coming to end

Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ST. PAUL – Dec. 12, 2012 – The final year of heavy construction on the Central Corridor LRT Project is wrapping up on cue, with all roads and sidewalks over 10 miles to be completed and opened by the end of the year, 10 miles of double track installed and all 18 station structures built.

“Reaching the end of the hardest part of Central Corridor construction is cause for reflection and a little celebration. As we pause to mark this milestone, I would like to extend our appreciation to all businesses, customers and neighbors along Central Corridor that have endured the disruption of Central Corridor heavy construction in 2011 and 2012,” Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh said.

The project ended 2011 at 45 percent complete overall. With over 84 percent complete overall at the end of 2012, the project is on schedule to open for service in 2014. Still, the systems work is only 49 percent complete and the operations and maintenance facility is 76 percent complete. The $957 million project continues to remain within budget.

“It looks like a light rail line now, and people are asking when trains will begin service,” said Mark Fuhrmann, program director of New Starts rail projects. “While the hard part is over, much work, including electrification of the system, completion of the maintenance facility and testing of the light rail vehicles, remains to be done in 2013 before trains can begin carrying passengers some time in 2014. While you may hear people predicting when service will begin, we need to await patiently the outcome of those LRV tests, which will begin in late 2013 and determine our debut in 2014.”

Over the winter, the following work will continue:

  • Construction inside the operation and maintenance facility.
  • Electrical work at the 18 stations.
  • Installation of catenary poles that will hold the overhead wires along the alignment.

In 2013, crews will finish:

  • Installing miles and miles of overhead electrical wires.
  • Installing the traction power substations that will convert the alternating. current from Xcel Energy’s lines to the direct current used by light rail vehicles.
  • Installing signal bungalows holding the signaling and communication systems. 
  • Completing the expanded Rail Control Center.
  • Building the operations and maintenance facility.
  • Installing station art.
  • Assembling, delivering and testing the light rail vehicles.
  • Punch list items.

Intermittent lane closures can be expected next year to give crews room to maneuver.

The launch of the “On the Green Line” marketing campaign this summer has been very successful bringing old and new customers to Central Corridor. The campaign will continue throughout 2013 featuring the unique and diverse mix of businesses and restaurants.

About the project

The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University Avenues via the State Capitol and the University of Minnesota. Construction began in late 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, and service will begin in 2014. The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at Target Field Station. The Metropolitan Council is the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. Funding is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Counties Transit Improvement Board, state of Minnesota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties’ regional railroad authorities, city of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

Media Contact

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

Posted In: