Freight Rail Corridor Protection

Between Glenwood Avenue and Bryn Mawr Station in Minneapolis, METRO Green Line Extension tracks will run parallel to high volume mainline freight rail tracks (the Wayzata Subdivision). The current design includes protection for bridge piers and other corridor elements in this area. An additional corridor protection barrier between the freight rail and light rail tracks is required. See information on the Southwest LRT Project's effect on the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railroad / Great Northern Railway Historic District, which includes the corridor protection area.

More information on the final proposed design and potential environmental impacts of the freight rail corridor protection measures is available in the Southwest LRT Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA)/Amended Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation.

Corridor Protection Design

Map of corridor protection locations

The map above shows the location of current bridge pier and corridor protection elements, and the areas where an additional corridor protection barrier is required. The design of corridor protection elements at each of the numbered locations shown in yellow on the map are illustrated below. 

The Corridor Protection Wall Tour video explains the proposed corridor protection barrier and shows the area where it would be built.

 

Bryn Mawr Station Area

In the Bryn Mawr Station area (Location 1, above), the proposed corridor protection wall is approximately 70 feet from the nearest proposed trail and approximately five and a half feet tall on the LRT/trail side. The proposed wall does not block access between the North Cedar Lake Trail and the Kenilworth Trail. The light rail tracks are between the trail and the proposed wall.

I-394 Area

Where the rail corridor passes under I-394 (Location 2, above), the current project design includes protection for bridge piers (support columns). The proposed corridor protection wall ties into the pier protection.

Bryn Mawr Meadows Area

In the Bryn Mawr Meadows area (Location 3, above), the proposed corridor protection wall is approximately 120 feet from the nearest trail and approximately four feet tall on the LRT/trail side. The light rail tracks are between the trail and the proposed wall.

Bassett Creek Valley Station Area

In the Bassett Creek Valley Station area (Location 4, above), the proposed corridor protection wall is approximately 270 feet from the nearest trail. The proposed wall is five to eight feet tall. A new Luce Line Trail bridge over the freight rail and light rail tracks will connect the light rail station to Bryn Mawr Meadows Park. Future development will provide a buffer between the light rail tracks and the trail.

Glenwood Avenue to I-94

The LRT tracks rise out of the freight rail trench on an approach structure before crossing Glenwood Avenue at street level (Location 5, above). 

Before and after views of corridor protection barrier near Bryn Mawr Station

The renderings above show the existing appearance of the area near Bryn Mawr Station, and how the area would look after the construction of the light rail line and the corridor protection barrier.

Bassett Creek Valley Working Group

The Bassett Creek Valley Working Group was created in September 2017 to advise the Southwest LRT Project on the aesthetic design of the proposed corridor protection wall. The Working Group is made up of representatives of neighborhoods adjacent to the corridor protection area as well as representatives of Minneapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees. The group will serve for the duration of the design process.

October 4, 2017 Meeting Materials

October 27, 2017 Meeting Materials

December 5, 2017 Meeting Materials

December 19, 2017 Meeting Materials

Tours and Public Events

 

Public Open House, November 2017

The Metropolitan Council hosted a public open house on November 15, 2017, at the Bryn Mawr Elementary School in Minneapolis. This event provided an opportunity to learn about the design of the proposed corridor protection wall between freight rail and light rail tracks in Minneapolis, and give input on aesthetic design options. 

Community Town Hall Meeting on the Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Amended Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, March 2018

The Metropolitan Council hosted a community town hall meeting on the Southwest LRT Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) and Amended Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation on March 22, 2018 at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis. This event provided an opportunity to learn about the impacts of changes in the design of the Southwest LRT Project since the completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2016, including the proposed construction of a freight rail corridor protection barrier in Minneapolis, and to give feedback. The community town hall meeting materials are available as PDF documents:

Tours of the Corridor Protection Area, October/November 2017

The Southwest LRT Project Office led public walking tours of the area between Bryn Mawr Station and Bassett Creek Valley Station on the following dates:

  • Monday, October 23, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 26, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 8, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.