Weekly Construction Update

Construction Hotline

For urgent Southwest LRT construction issues, please call the 24-hour hotline at 612-373-3933 for assistance.  Call the hotline for problems such as blocked access to business or residential areas, improper traffic sign placement or parking issues. For general questions or comments about Southwest LRT, contact your Community Outreach Coordinator.

For emergencies, always call 911.

Construction Activity Updates

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Southwest LRT Construction Update: August 8, 2020 

Moving Forward with Congressional Notification
On Thursday, the project office received the good news that President Trump and the Federal Transit Administration have advanced the Southwest LRT Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) to move forward with Congressional notification. We thank President Donald J. Trump for moving this transformative project forward. The FFGA will free up $928.8 million in federal funds to cover nearly half the cost of Southwest LRT implementation. This $2.003 billion project will be the largest infrastructure project in the state’s history, creating nearly 7,500 jobs with a nearly $350 million payroll.

Weekly Construction Photo: Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis

When the project is complete, Southwest LRT trains will cross Glenwood Avenue on a bridge at grade with cars and pedestrians. In order to make that happen, three bridges need to be constructed over the freight rail corridor, freight rail needs to be shifted, and extensive retaining walls completed. Crews can be seen advancing retaining wall construction and the west abutment for the new roadway bridge continues. 

Eden Prairie

There are two Eden Prairie maps with each illustrating where construction crews are working today and approximately through August. General activities are highlighted for your convenience. Please refer to text descriptions in this section for more details on major elements being constructed in specific areas.  

SouthWest Station Area
In this area crews are building a new park-and-ride ramp adjacent to the existing ramp and constructing the joint bus and LRT station. The former SouthWest Transit facility was demolished earlier in 2020. Crews are working on excavation, utilities, and pile supports for foundations for the structures, the bus loop and utilities. Some of the new structure is just starting to take shape. Crews have erected a stationary tower crane to assist with ongoing work. The right-turn lane on the eastbound Highway 212 ramp to Prairie Center Drive remains closed.
 
Prairie Center Drive LRT Bridge
The Prairie Center Drive LRT bridge begins by SouthWest Transit station, crosses over Technology Drive, follows the east side of Purgatory Creek Park and then crosses Prairie Center Drive to land north of Bachman’s on the east side of the road. The bridge structure will be under construction until fall 2020, however all of the piles to support the bridge pier are installed. There are close to 500 piles supporting the bridge, making the completion of piling a major milestone. Work on the last remaining bridge pier is almost complete in the median of Prairie Center Drive. Look for Eden Prairie scenes on many of the piers along Prairie Center Drive. Bridge deck work has begun with the installation of rebar and falsework (forms that support the concrete until it cures and is strong enough to support itself). Bridge beams are starting to be placed. A short-term closure of Prairie Center Drive near Singletree Lane as well as Technology Drive near Prairie Center Drive is anticipated in late August or September to set beams over the roadway. See upcoming detour information here. Notice will be posted in advance of the closures.
 
Sidewalks near the intersection of Prairie Center Drive and Technology Drive remain closed, please follow signage to ensure your safety. (See the SouthWest pedestrian detour map).
 
Eden Road Area
Work on retaining walls as well as utility work continues in the area. The Eden Road and Flying Cloud Drive intersection will remain closed until the week of August 10. Then Eden Road will be closed west of Glen Lane toward Singletree Lane starting later in August.

 
LRT Bridge at I-494/Flying Cloud Drive
LRT will travel on a bridge over I-494, parallel to Flying Cloud Drive. Work to complete the bridge deck is ongoing. An overnight closure of I-494 to pour concrete for the bridge deck is currently anticipated on Monday, August 17, beginning at 10:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 18. Additional night closures will be needed later this summer to complete deck work.
 
Flying Cloud Drive
Along Flying Cloud Drive, between Eden Road and Valley View Road, crews are conducting major utility work while the roadway is under construction. Crews are grading for the LRT track guideway and building retaining walls.
 
Traffic is shifted to the south or east side of Flying Cloud Drive between Eden Road and Valley View Road until late August or early September and then will be swapped to the north. The intersection of Technology Drive and Flying Cloud Drive will remain closed until late August or early September. The off-ramp from I-494 to Flying Cloud Drive remains closed into the fall. See Eden Prairie detour maps here. Access to area businesses on the north of the roadway remain open, follow posted signage.
 
Overall, there will be four phases of temporary traffic changes, specifically lane reductions and closures to complete the construction of LRT and associated utility work. We are currently in phase two. These four phases will last the duration of the 2020 construction season.
 
Valley View Road
Deck work on the Valley View Road LRT bridge is ongoing. The on ramp from Valley View Road to eastbound Highway 212 has been reconstructed and is open to vehicle traffic.
 
Nine Mile Creek
Pile driving for the LRT bridge structure at Nine Mile Creek will continue through the summer. Crews have advanced abutment work and continue to complete piers. Deck work for the bridge is getting underway. The sidewalk on the west side of Flying Cloud Drive is closed; pedestrians should use the east side. In late August or early September Flying Cloud Drive near West 70th will have a short-term closure to set bridge beams for the Nine Mile Creek bridge. Notice will be posted in advance of the closures.
 
Golden Triangle Station
Throughout the 2020 construction season, crews will advance work on the Golden Triangle Station, the land bridge for the LRT north of the station, and the LRT bridge that will transition to cross over Shady Oak Road and Highway 212. Crews are working on the roofing for the Golden Triangle Station and completing the construction of area bridge piers.
 
Shady Oak Road/Flying Cloud Drive
Three lanes on the north side of Shady Oak Road are closed to begin pier construction for the LRT bridge that will span Shady Oak Road and Highway 212. This lane closure will remain in effect into the fall. Work in the median of Highway 212 will also start later this month to advance the LRT bridge, expect lane shifts. The off-ramp from west bound Highway 212 to Shady Oak Road will close later this summer for a few months. Expect construction activities on the west side of Highway 212 in the coming months, as work progresses north.

Minnetonka

This Minnetonka map illustrates where construction crews are working today and approximately through August. General activities are highlighted for your convenience. Please refer to text descriptions in this section for more details on major elements being constructed in specific areas. 
 
Highway 62
Construction of the LRT tunnel under Highway 62 is ongoing through the 2021 construction season. The work is divided into two phases, work on the north then the south side of the highway. Traffic lanes have been shifted to the south side of the highway corridor to accommodate LRT tunnel construction on the north side of the highway. This traffic configuration will be in place through the fall of 2020. Crews finished constructing the bottom leveling slab of the north tunnel section, have advanced concrete and waterproofing work, and are forming the concrete for the tunnel walls and base slab. Work to construct the tunnel roof is also starting.
 
Red Circle Drive and Yellow Circle Drive
Yellow and Red Circle Drives have been reconfigured to allow for ongoing tunnel construction at Highway 62. Yellow Circle Drive is temporarily dead ended with a cul-de-sac where it connects to Red Circle Drive. Yellow Circle Drive has temporarily become a two-way roadway in the area south of Blue Circle Drive. A temporary by-pass road is complete on Red Circle Drive. This roadway configuration will be in place until fall 2020. See Minnetonka roadway changes here.
 
Additional work has begun on Red Circle Drive for bridge reconstruction. The southern portion of Red Circle Drive is modified temporarily to accommodate two-way traffic. Red Circle Drive is a dead ended cul-de-sac where it connects with the other Red Circle Drive access. Yellow Circle traffic connects to the southern portion of Red Circle Drive to travel west until the cul-de-sac closure point. See Minnetonka roadway changes here. Additional information about area activities is also available on the city’s website here.
 
Opus Station Area
The station’s form has emerged and will continue to advance in the coming months. Retaining wall work is ongoing north of the station area, including a significant portion of the LRT alignment to Smetana and Feltl Roads.
 
Bren Road West, just west of Green Circle Drive to Bren Road East, is closed to vehicles and pedestrians through the 2020 construction season. See Minnetonka detour map here. Crews are advancing utility work in the area. Piling for retaining walls near the roadway continues.
 
From Bren Road West to Smetana Road, crews are also grading and doing other preparation work for LRT track construction. Expect earth moving equipment in the area.
 
Smetana Road
In this area, the project includes two roadway bridges to accommodate LRT travelling underneath the Smetana and Feltl roadways. Utility work is ongoing in this area. Excavation continues for bridge abutments and approach walls. Sheeting installation is occurring and piling for the bridge abutments continues. Expect noise and vibration from pile driving in the area.

Smetana Road from Feltl Road to Nolan Drive is closed through 2020. A temporary bypass is in place west of the intersection of Smetana and Feltl Roads to accommodate local traffic.  See Minnetonka detour maps here.
 
Minnetonka-Hopkins LRT Bridge Area
The Minnetonka-Hopkins LRT bridge is located east of Nolan Drive and west of the Hopkins Landfill and will cross over the freight tracks to the north. The bridge will take multiple years to complete. Excavation and pile driving continue at the north end of the bridge near K-Tel Drive. Work on the bridge piers will move south towards Smetana Road.  Piling work for the bridge piers will be ongoing through the 2020 construction season. Expect noise and vibration from pile driving activities, which includes work on Saturdays.  Clearing and ground cover removals also continues in the area, moving south.

Hopkins

This Hopkins map illustrates where construction crews are working today and approximately through August. General activities are highlighted for your convenience. Please refer to text descriptions in this section for more details on major elements being constructed in specific areas. 
 
Shady Oak Road Station
Foundation work for Shady Oak Station is underway. The station structure is beginning to emerge.
 
11th Avenue South
Work is underway at the future LRT track crossing at 11th Avenue South. LRT crosses the roadway just north of 5th Street South, south of Excelsior Boulevard. The roadway is reduced to one lane in each direction. The LRT crossing panels to transverse the roadway have been placed on the east side. Traffic is swapped to the east side of the intersection so work can advance on the west. The LRT tracks will be pulled across the intersection at a later date. The lanes will reopen in early September.
 
Once work on 11th Avenue South is complete, the reconstruction of 5th and 8th Avenues will begin. Reconstruction of 5th Avenue is anticipated in the fall and 8th Avenue will follow in the spring.
 
On 5th Street South, utility work is expected to begin later this summer or fall. Roadway impacts are anticipated. More detail will be provided as the closure dates nears.
 
Downtown Hopkins Station
Station work continues. Crews have built the walls, advanced utility work and poured the base slab. Currently crews are working on roofing and steel finishes.
 
Excelsior Boulevard Area
Crews continue building the LRT bridge over Excelsior Boulevard. With the LRT bridge piers nearing completion, the structural forms to take the bridge over the roadway and freight rail are starting to take shape. Crew are building “pier tables”, which taken quiet literally means the base or “table” for the bridge to be placed on the piers. Concrete work for the top of the piers is advancing and concrete work for the spans is upcoming in the next months.  The bridge structure is a post-tensioned box girder. This type of bridge can efficiently span long distances. The initial shape of the box girder is now visible from the roadway. Using a piece of equipment called a form traveler the bridge will begin to span the roadway in late August.
 
Blake Road
The project is improving bike safety in the area by building a regional trail underpass. Crews are constructing the trail underpass on the west side of Blake Road. Sheet piles have been driven to almost the center of the roadway. The southbound lanes on Blake Road are closed to vehicle traffic and will remain closed through the summer. Vehicle traffic continues to be permitted in one lane in the northbound direction. Pedestrians can access the sidewalk on the east side of Blake Road. Expect sheet pile driving, excavation and concrete work in the area. See Hopkins detour maps here. Crews will start to build the top of the regional trail tunnel, which will allow the roadway on the west side to be reconstructed later this summer or early fall. Once this portion of Blake Road is complete, traffic will be swapped to the other side and a single lane will be allowed in the southbound direction so crews can complete the underpass.

St. Louis Park

This St. Louis Park map illustrates where construction crews are working today and approximately through August. General activities are highlighted for your convenience. Please refer to text descriptions in this section for more details on major elements being constructed in specific areas. 
 
Minnehaha Creek
Work on the new freight and regional trail bridges continues in the area. Crews are finishing details of the bridges and area retaining walls. Earthwork activities to prepare for permanent freight rail track is ongoing.
 
Louisiana Avenue                                                                                                                                                                             
In the Louisiana Avenue area, the project is constructing the following elements: Louisiana Station and park and ride areas, reestablishing the regional trail, LRT and freight bridges, a pedestrian/bicyclist underpass (which connects the regional trail to the station), and a new Southerly Connector for freight rail to connect to the MN&S freight line. View the area’s visualization to see how this all comes together.
 
Crews are working on the trail underpass. Shoring and sheet pile driving work for the southerly freight rail connection, that will replace the current wye freight track, along Oxford Street is well underway with the abutment taking shape.
 
The abutments for the regional trail and freight rail bridge at Louisiana Avenue are complete and bridge beams have been placed across the roadway. Additional lane closures will occur to advance deck work. No detours are expected.
 
Wooddale Avenue
For the new regional trail underpass structure and freight rail infrastructure the majority of the work that will impact the roadway is now complete. An additional closure will be needed at a future date to install LRT infrastructure through the intersection. 
 
Highway 100
The project will re-position the existing freight rail bridge and build a new LRT bridge over Highway 100 later this year. A closure of Highway 100 is currently on track for Labor Day weekend, more details to follow.
Crews are working on storm water management, erosion control, freight rail and trail infrastructure from Highway 100 to Beltline Boulevard.
 
Beltline Boulevard
Beltline Boulevard is being improved by the addition of a regional trail bridge over the roadway. The main truss for the regional trail bridge has been set and work on the trail bridge deck continues. To complete the bridge, crews will need to move the freight rail tracks to their final location. Preparation for that move is ongoing.  
 
Reconstruction of Beltline Boulevard in this area has begun. Beltline Boulevard has been reduced to one lane in each direction for utility work. Expect shifting lane closures as work moves through the intersection. A full road closure is anticipated in mid-to late August to install freight rail infrastructure. Signage will be posted in advance of the lane closures. The LRT track crossing will be completed at a future date.

Minneapoilis

There are five Minneapolis maps with each illustrating where construction crews are working today and approximately through August. General activities are highlighted for your convenience. Please refer to text descriptions in this section for more details on major elements being constructed in specific areas. 
 
Chowen Avenue to Lake Street
For the 2020 construction season, this area will experience major utility work, soil correction activities, pier protection work on the Lake Street Bridge, West Lake Street Station construction and the realignment of Chowen/Abbott roadways.
 
Kenilworth Tunnel Area Construction
From the Lake Street Bridge to just south of the Cedar Lake Channel, construction of the LRT tunnel is ongoing through 2022. Sheet pile installation for the tunnel is expected to last through 2020.
 
Two of the press-in-pilers are working south of 28th Street. One piler is on the track side of the tunnel moving south. The other is working near Lake Street.
 
For more information about tunnel construction, see the tunnel FAQ information under the construction tab of our webpage: swlrt.org. A short video of the press-in-piler construction technique that is being used for the tunnel is also available.
 
Cedar Lake Parkway
A six-month closure of Cedar Lake Parkway will be needed at a later date to complete tunnel excavation and construction.
 
Cedar Lake (Kenilworth) Channel
Three bridges will be constructed over the channel for freight, LRT, and the Kenilworth Trail. Construction for the freight rail bridge is complete and the LRT then trail bridges will follow in sequence.
Freight rail was swapped onto the new track alignment on at the Cedar Lake Channel on Wednesday, July 22. Demolition of the old freight bridge could begin in the next few weeks. It will take approximately a week to remove the bridge. Then construction of the new LRT bridge over the channel will begin in August following removals. A closure of the channel is currently not anticipated to be needed to complete this next phase of work. Flaggers for boat traffic are expected to be present when the old freight rail bridge is removed, and boaters may be required to wait for a short period. If a closure is needed notice will be posted at least 14 days in advance. Expect noise and vibration for piling and sheeting activities beginning in August.

 
West 21st Street
Temporary surcharge continues to be in place south of West 21st Street for the station. Surcharge work consists of periods of moving soil activities followed by periods underlying soil consolidation. The surcharge is currently in a settlement period into the summer. Additional dirt may be needed periodically.  
 
West 21st Street Station construction is expected to begin this fall after surcharge removal.  
Minor grading and trail paving work around West 21st Street is complete and additional fencing is being installed between the trail and haul route.
 
Work to reconstruct the 21st Street intersection is targeted to begin in September. Crews will be working on freight rail infrastructure and utilities. More details to follow.
Bryn Mawr Station Area
To accommodate the LRT station, crews will construct a pedestrian bridge on the northern bluff (near Penn Avenue and Highway 394) to the station. In addition, crews need to do a significant amount of earthwork in the area to construct the new trail alignment, regrade the contours of earth in the area and build a stable foundation for the LRT tracks.
 
The temporary surcharge for the station remains in a settlement period to consolidate the underlying soil to provide a suitable foundation for the station.
 
I-394/Cedar Lake Trail
Construction to move the trail to its permanent location in the area will occur later this fall.
 
Linden Yards
Utility work continues in the area. Construction of the Bassett Creek Valley Station will begin later this year. Preparation earthwork for the Bassett Creek Station is anticipated to begin later in August.
 
Glenwood Avenue
When the project is complete, LRT will cross Glenwood Avenue at grade. To make that happen three bridges need to be constructed, freight rail shifted, and extensive retaining walls built. Glenwood Avenue between Lyndale Avenue North and North 12th Street is closed until mid‑2021. The roadway is closed to vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. See detour map here. Local access to businesses is maintained. Crews continue to work on retaining walls in the area. Work on the west abutment for the new roadway bridge continues.
 
General construction activities will occur in the Glenwood/Royalston area this Saturday, August 8. Additional Saturday work will be scheduled.
 
Royalston Avenue
This area will see the development of the Royalston Avenue/Farmer’s Market Station, an LRT bridge crossing over North 5th Avenue and North 7th Street and connecting to the Target Field Station. The Holden/Royalston/Border loop will also be reconstructed. Much of the pavement on the northern portion of Royalston Avenue has been removed and piling for retaining walls is ongoing. Work on the LRT bridge piers on the east side of Royalston Avenue is ongoing and will continue through the summer. Expect pile driving activities in this area as bridge and retaining wall work advances. The southbound travel lane on Royalston Avenue from North 5th Street to Holden Street is closed; the closure will last until summer 2021. Business access is available via the northbound lane. See the roadway impact map here.
 

Regional Trails


Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail
The Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail in Hopkins is closed between Shady Oak Road and 5th Avenue South. See detour map here.
  • The section betwee1n Shady Oak Road and 11th Avenue South is closed due to storm sewer construction activities. This portion of the trail is closed through summer 2020. 
  • The section between 11th Avenue South and 5th Avenue South is closed until fall 2021.
South Cedar Lake LRT Trail
The South Cedar Lake Trail from just east of the North Cedar Lake Trail connection in Hopkins to France Avenue in St. Louis Park is closed until fall 2021. The South Cedar Lake Trail will remain open between France Avenue in St. Louis Park and Kenilworth Trail/Midtown Greenway intersection in Minneapolis. The Midtown Greenway will remain open. Currently, cross streets remain open to automobiles, bikers and pedestrians, with separate closures of roadways upcoming at various dates. See detour maps here.
 
Utility work near the West Lake Street Station is almost complete. Once utility work is out of the way, crews will construct the new permanent trail alignment under the West Lake Street bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists can use the new trail once completed in mid-August. The trail will be fenced off and separated from construction activities. Until that work is complete expect flaggers in the area directing pedestrians and cyclists. Be mindful of construction equipment in the area and the directions given by the flaggers. Flagging activity is allowing the trail in this connecting segment to remain open during this phase of construction.
 
Kenilworth Trail Closure
The Kenilworth Trail is closed in Minneapolis at the intersection with the Midtown Greenway to just south of West 21st Street until summer 2022. Access for automobiles, bikers and pedestrians remains open at Cedar Lake Parkway and at West 21st Street. See detour map here.
 
North Cedar Lake Trail in Minneapolis
The North Cedar Lake Trail in Minneapolis from Linden Yards located west of Van White Boulevard to east of Royalston Avenue is closed until mid-2021. See detour maps here.
 
Please note, construction vehicles cross the trail as they enter and exit staging areas. Construction vehicles yield to trail users but please be aware that you may encounter construction traffic in this area.
 
The Cedar Lake Trail by Highway 394 and Linden Yards is detoured to Kenwood Parkway into August. The connection to the Luce Line Trail will remain open, accessible via the connection under I-394 by Spring Lake. See trail detour maps here. Crews are conducting utility work in the area.