Southwest Light Rail Transit

METRO Green Line Extension – Eden Prairie to Downtown Minneapolis

Construction Hotline: 612-373-3933

The METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT or SWLRT) will serve downtown Minneapolis and the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The line will include 16 new stations and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, and many bus routes. At Target Field Station in Minneapolis, Green Line Extension trains will continue along the METRO Green Line, providing one-seat rides to the University of Minnesota, State Capitol area, and downtown St. Paul. Read more project facts.

Southwest LRT Announces Potential Delay

 
St. Louis Park, January 14, 2021 - Today the Metropolitan Council along with Hennepin County are announcing a potential construction delay for the Southwest LRT Project.  Over the course of the 2020 construction season, the project staff and our contractor, Lunda-McCrossan Joint Venture encountered unforeseen conditions in the Minneapolis segment of the of the alignment which will take longer to overcome. These include:
  • Due to the poor soils we encountered in the Kenilworth corridor during the initial construction of the tunnel, an alternative construction method is needed to complete the tunnel.  The construction method we are introducing (secant wall) will stabilize the soils while constructing the LRT tunnel. We are taking this approach out of an abundance of caution to protect the foundations of adjacent buildings.
  • We are constructing an approximately 1-mile corridor protection wall for an additional layer of protection between the BNSF freight trains and LRT trains. The corridor protection wall will be located in the BNSF’s Wayzata Subdivision in Minneapolis from the Bryn Mawr Station to just east of I-94. This protection wall was added as a requirement of BNSF after final design and civil construction contracting. While this element is not a surprise, we have now completed analysis and design for the wall and have a fuller understanding of the challenges of constructing this project element in an active freight rail corridor. Watch this short video about the corridor protection wall.
These are no small changes and require thoughtful and deliberate engineering, design plans and construction methods. What this means is Southwest LRT will most likely not be meeting it’s opening day projection of 2023. While these types of setbacks are not uncommon on projects of this scale, we are also disappointed by this development. We strongly believe the long-term benefits of this project to the region and state outweigh the short-term challenges we face.

During the next several months project staff and the contractor will be analyzing the schedule and we will share more information later this year. Southwest LRT is the largest public infrastructure project in the state of Minnesota's history and is incredibly complex as we construct LRT, freight rail and regional trails. Challenges will always arise in a project of this size and scope.  It is important to note that current construction on Southwest LRT continues in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis. This includes key project elements including stations, LRT and trail tunnels and LRT, freight rail and trail bridges which will continue to be constructed. We will continue to work directly with stakeholders to minimize these construction impacts whenever possible.

Additionally, the Metropolitan Council remains committed to ensuring the many small businesses and sub-contractors working on the project are treated fairly due to the anticipate schedule change. 

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Southwest LRT Construction Update: January 15-28, 2021


As announced on Thursday, over the course of the 2020 construction season, the project staff and our contractor, Lunda-McCrossan Joint Venture encountered unforeseen obstacles in the Minneapolis portion of the alignment which will take longer to overcome. These obstacles include the construction of the corridor protection wall along the BNSF fright rail line and a secant wall to complete LRT tunnel construction in a portion of the Kenilworth corridor due to poor soil conditions. These are no small changes and require thoughtful and deliberate engineering, design plans and construction methods. While these types of setbacks are not uncommon on projects of this scale, we are also disappointed by this development. We strongly believe the long-term benefits of this project to the region and state outweigh the short-term challenges we face. While this means we most likely won’t be meeting our opening day projection of 2023, we know that 2021 will be a robust construction year. 

To see an overview of 2021 construction activities in Minneapolis, view the recording of the January 14 Minneapolis Town Hall. We will be sharing 2021 overviews of construction activities in the corridor cities of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, and St. Louis Park in the coming weeks. Read the rest of the update.

 

SWLRT Trail Detour Map


To help trail users navigate detours, we now have a Google mapping tool that can help you in the field. To view a larger version click on the square in the upper right hand corner.  

Explore The Route

Take a virtual flyover of the route of the METRO Green Line Extension from Eden Prairie through Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and downtown Minneapolis. Key design features of the new light rail line include passenger stations, park-and-ride facilities, bridges, tunnels, and pedestrian/bicycle facilities. See more about the METRO Green Line Extension route and stations.