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. 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. See the news release on our website.
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 Highlights
Work on the Prairie Center Drive bridge continues with crews setting bridge beams in the next week. 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.
Eden Road at Flying Cloud Drive remains closed until the week of August 10, then the closure will shift to just west of Glen Lane as construction moves west on Eden Road.
Utility work is ongoing at the intersection of Technology Drive and Flying Cloud Drive. The intersection and the north side of Flying Cloud Drive will be under construction into late August or early September.
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.
Two road closures near the Golden Triangle Station are upcoming in late August or September. West 70th at Flying Cloud Drive will close for two months to advance LRT infrastructure through the roadway. 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.
The Shady Oak/Highway 212 bridge continues to take shape as work continues to progress northwest across Shady Oak Road and Highway 212. Currently three lanes of traffic on the north side of Shady Oak Road are closed into the fall. Expect additional traffic impacts in late August, with lane shifts on Highway 212 and the closure of the west bound off-ramp to Shady Oak Road.
Work on the LRT tunnel under Highway 62 continues to progress with crews advancing concrete work for the walls and base slab through the summer. Work is also beginning for the roof of the tunnel.
Multiple detours remain in effect in the Opus area, including on Red Circle, Yellow Circle, and Bren Road West. See Opus area detours. All traffic detours will remain in place until at least late-August, then Red Circle will change direction to allow for other connections.
Continue to expect piling and other major construction activities for the Smetana Road bridge over LRT. Smetana Road remains closed from Feltl Drive to Nolan Drive until late fall 2020.
Clearing and ground cover removal for the Minnetonka – Hopkins bridge is ongoing and moving to the south end of the bridge in mid-August. Piling and construction of bridge piers is ongoing on the north end of the bridge. Expect construction activities on Saturdays.
Continue to expect lane closures on 11th Avenue South as work on the remaining half of LRT infrastructure is advanced through the intersection. The roadway will fully open in early September.
Reconstruction of 5th Avenue is anticipated to begin this fall to install LRT infrastructure.
From Blake Road to Beltline Boulevard in St. Louis Park work to shift freight rail tracks is ongoing. Expect earthwork, ballast placement and rail construction through August.
The southbound lanes of Blake Road remain closed. Traffic is permitted in one lane in the northbound direction. Pedestrian access is maintained on the sidewalk on the east side of Blake Road. See Hopkins detour maps here.
Work on the Excelsior Bridge continues. Crews are building and pouring concrete for the pier tables and the spans will start to take shape in early September.
From Louisiana Avenue Station to Wooddale Avenue, many construction activities continue to advance. Expect ongoing work in the area, including piling, earthwork, and building activities.
From Highway 100 to the Beltline Boulevard area, crews are engaged in earthwork, storm sewerwork, erosion control, freight rail infrastructure construction, and preparation work for the future restoration of the South Cedar Lake Trail. Expect ongoing general construction throughout this area, including the movement of heavy machinery.
A full weekend closure of Highway 100 is currently on track for Labor Day weekend to pick up and move the freight rail bridge to its new permanent location. More details will be forthcoming. On Sunday night, August 9, crews will close the southbound right lane on Highway 100 and the ramp from Highway 7 to southbound Highway 100 from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on Monday, August 10.
There are ongoing lane impacts on Beltline Boulevard as crews conduct utility work and reconstruct the roadway for LRT and freight rail. A full road closure is anticipated in mid-to late August to complete freight rail infrastructure. The LRT track crossing will be completed at a future date.
Please be mindful of construction equipment in the West Lake Street area and the directions given by flaggers. Crews anticipating finishing utility work in the area next week and then will be constructing the new permanent trail alignment under the West Lake Street bridge.
Two of the press-in-pilers are working south of 28th. One piler is on the track side of the tunnel moving south, the other is working near Lake Street.
At the Cedar Lake Channel, the demolition of the old freight bridge is expected to begin in the next few weeks. It will take approximately a week to remove the bridge. Construction of the new LRT bridge over the channel will follow the removal. Expect noise and vibration for piling and sheeting activities.
Planning is underway for utility and freight rail work at 21st Street to begin around Labor Day weekend. More details will be forthcoming.
The Cedar Lake Trail by Highway 394 and Linden Yards is detoured to Kenwood Parkway. The connection to the Luce Line Trail will remain open, accessible via the connection under I-394 by Spring Lake. Detour information. Crews are conducting utility work in the area.
Piling for retaining walls in the Royalston Avenue area is underway. Crews also continue to advance work in the Glenwood area. General construction activities will occur in the Glenwood/Royalston area this Saturday, August 8.