Neighborhood Notes

Southwest LRT Construction Update – November 22

Southwest LRT Construction Update: November 22, 2019


Twitter: @SouthwestLRT

Construction Hotline: 612-373-3933

Holiday Construction

This update provides information for the next two weeks of upcoming construction activities. If there are any significant changes to the current schedule, we will issue an update specific to those items next week. Our next construction update will be Friday, December 6.

Crews will suspend most construction work for the Thanksgiving weekend, from Thursday November 27 through Sunday December 1. However, crews will be doing site inspections, conducting regular maintenance activities and may be performing utility work in the Glenwood area.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Southwest Project Office will be closed. Staff will be on call over the holiday weekend to address urgent issues received through the hotline. All other questions will be addressed on Monday, December 2.


  • TH 62 westbound lanes will close tonight at 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 22 and reopen by 5:00 a.m. on Monday, November 25.
  • Night work has resumed around the Golden Triangle Station and will continue through mid-December.
  • Excelsior Boulevard will reopen to vehicle traffic on Monday.
  • LRT bridge pier work begins on Royalston Avenue the first week of December. Traffic control and fencing will be in place.

Weekly Construction Photo: Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins

Weekly Construction Photo: Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins Synchronized excavators shift the freight rail track near Excelsior Boulevard.

On-going Activities Update

SouthWest Station Area in Eden Prairie

The temporary passenger drop-off lanes at SouthWest Transit Station have been moved to the west end of the parking structure; bus service continues to operate as usual. Pile driving will continue into 2020 as crews focus on different elements of the station site and the LRT bridge. Retaining wall work for the LRT guideway is also continuing in the area. Crews are constructing a temporary passenger waiting area for bus riders that will be completed early December. Work to complete the temporary shelter roof and grade the driveway is ongoing.  This work requires the west entrance to the shopping area to be closed until the end of November. Transit riders will shift to the temporary facility once it is complete in mid-December.

The right turn lane on the eastbound Hwy 212 ramp to Prairie Center Drive remains closed until Summer 2020.

Crews are working near the intersection of Technology Drive and Prairie Center Drive to build bridge piers. The sidewalk is closed on the northwest corner of Technology Drive and Prairie Center Drive; please follow detour signage to the southwest sidewalk next to Purgatory Park. Private utilities are also working in the area.

Eden Road Area in Eden Prairie

Retaining wall work is concluding for the winter; backfilling will resume in the spring. Utility companies are working in the area and near Flying Cloud Drive towards the east.

LRT Bridge at I-494/Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie

Crews will resume work on the north abutment in early December. Traffic control barriers continue to be in place. The I-494 eastbound ramp to TH 212 remains closed until Spring 2020. See detour map below.

Valley View Road/Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie

The lane restriction on the ramp from Valley View Road to TH 212 remains. Traffic is being diverted onto the HOV lane and will remain in this configuration through the winter. Crews are constructing multiple piers for the new LRT bridge. The various piers are at different stages of completion, with crews working on pile supports and formwork. Earthwork in the area will continue for as long as weather allows.

Nine Mile Creek

Piling driving for the bridge structure and abutments through Nine Mile Creek will continue through the winter.

Golden Triangle Station in Eden Prairie

Night work resumed in the area and will continue until approximately mid-December to install piles and sheeting. Private utility companies are working in the area as well. Similar activities will occur during the daytime in the surrounding area as crews work on the Golden Triangle Station, bridges, retaining walls and relocating utilities simultaneously.

Night work will continue intermittently as the segment between the Golden Triangle Station north of West 70th Street to a bridge over Shady Oak Road and Hwy 212 is completed. As work progresses, the Southwest Project Office will continue to look for opportunities to shift activities to the daytime.

TH 62 in Minnetonka  

This evening, Friday, November 22, at 7:00 p.m., the westbound lanes will close until 5:00 a.m. on Monday, November 25 to allow the contractor to shift westbound traffic to the south to accommodate the tunnel construction on the north side of the highway. Monday morning, westbound traffic will reopen with one lane in each direction. This traffic configuration will be in place through 2020. Crews will be breaking up existing concrete on the roadway starting at 7:00 p.m. and continuing overnight. This overnight work will be loud but it is necessary to minimize the road closure duration. See detour maps below.

Red Circle Drive and Yellow Circle Drive in Minnetonka

Construction starts next week to change the road configuration on Yellow and Red Circle Drives. Yellow Circle Drive will be temporarily dead ended where it connects to Red Circle Drive, and Yellow Circle will become a two-way roadway in the area south of Blue Circle Drive. A temporary by-pass road will also be built on Red Circle Drive. This roadway configuration will allow for ongoing tunnel construction on TH 62. See a map of the roadway changes below.

Smetana Road in Minnetonka and Hopkins

Smetana Road from Feltl Road to Nolan Drive is closed for up to a year. A temporary bypass is in place west of the intersection of Smetana and Feltl roads to accommodate traffic in this area. See detour maps below.

Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail in Hopkins

The Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail in Hopkins is closed between Shady Oak Road and 5th Avenue South. See detour map below.

  • The section between 11th Avenue South and Shady Oak Road is closed due to storm sewer construction activities. This portion of the trail is closed until summer 2020.
  • The section between 8th Avenue South and 5th Avenue South is closed until Fall 2021.

 Downtown Hopkins Station

Foundation work for the station is complete.  Work on the structure of the station will start later this winter.

Excelsior Boulevard Area in Hopkins

Excelsior Boulevard at the freight railroad crossing re-opens to vehicle traffic on Monday. Crews are working on underground utilities, freight rail tracks and the LRT bridge structure. See detour map below.

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 2021The 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, bikes and pedestrians, with separate closure of roadways upcoming at various dates. See detour maps below.

Blake Road in Hopkins

Crews are constructing a cut and cover tunnel under Blake Road for the regional trail. Southbound traffic will continue to be diverted to the east side of the road, with one lane in each direction, through the winter. Next spring, crews will move to the other side of the roadway and traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction.

Minnehaha Creek in St. Louis Park

Sheet piling and excavation for the new freight and trail bridge abutments continues in the area. Flaggers are monitoring recreational water use during times that construction activities make it unsafe to travel through the creek.

Louisiana Avenue in St. Louis Park

Vehicle traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction as crews work on new freight and pedestrian bridge abutments; expect piling activity in the area.

TH 100 in St. Louis Park

The project will be re-positioning the existing freight rail bridge and will build a new LRT bridge over TH 100. Work on bridge abutments will begin in early December

Beltline Boulevard in St. Louis Park

Work on the new South Cedar Lake Trail Bridge continues. Crews are working on the bridge spans. Crews are also working on retaining walls in the area, which includes pile driving.

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, bikes and pedestrians remains open at Cedar Lake Parkway and at W 21st Street. See detour map below.

Chowen Avenue to Lake Street in Minneapolis

Storm sewer and watermain work will occur during the winter months. Work is anticipated at the beginning of December and is not expected to impact the trail.

Kenilworth Area Construction in Minneapolis

Crews will re-start sheet pile installation for the Kenilworth tunnel using the press-in piler near Park Siding Park and will continue work moving north. Sheeting will stop short of Cedar Lake Parkway and the press-in-piler will return south, working towards Lake Street. Sheeting installation is expected to last until summer 2020 . Tunnel excavation is currently anticipated to begin Spring 2020, however if weather allows, some excavation could start later this Fall. For more information about tunnel construction, see the tunnel FAQ information under the construction tab of our webpage: A short video of the press-in-piler construction technique is also available.

Concrete work for the retaining walls south and north of the channel continues.

Cedar Lake Parkway in Minneapolis

Centerpoint Energy is wrapping up utility work. There will still be minor impacts to adjacent roadways and trails in the area as they finish gas service work through November.  

Cedar Lake (Kenilworth) Channel and Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Minneapolis

Pier construction and piling for the new freight bridge is ongoing, crews are currently working on the north abutment. Crews are also working on retaining walls near the channel. Individuals using the waterway between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake may encounter intermittent closures lasting approximately 20 minutes during construction activity. A short video highlighting preservation efforts can be found on the project website:

21st Street in Minneapolis

Retaining wall activities are being completed in the area.

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 for approximately two years until mid-2021. See detour maps below.

Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis

The closure of Glenwood Avenue between Lyndale Avenue North and 11th Street North began on July 15, 2019 and is anticipated to last approximately two years. Local access to businesses will be maintained. Generally, vehicle detours will use Lyndale Avenue, Olson Memorial Highway and 7th/10th Streets. The pedestrian detour continues to utilize Border Avenue, Holden Street and Royalston Avenue sidewalks. Utility work, retaining wall installation and freight track preparation continues. See detour map below.

Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis

Work on the LRT bridge piers will begin on the east side of the Royalston Avenue in early December. Northbound Royalston Avenue will be reduced to one lane and southbound Royalston Avenue will be closed between Border Avenue and 5th Avenue. See the roadway impact map below.

Northbound I-494 to Eastbound TH 212 Detour

Northbound I-494 to Eastbound TH 212 Detour

TH 62 in Minnetonka

TH 62 in Minnetonka

Yellow Circle Roadway Changes in Minnetonka

Yellow Circle Roadway Changes in Minnetonka

Smetana Road in Minnetonka and Hopkins Detour

Upcoming Smetana Road in Minnetonka and Hopkins Detour

Minnesota River Bluff Trail from Shady Oak Road to 5th Avenue Detour

Minnesota River Bluff Trail from Shady Oak Road to 5th Avenue Detour

Excelsior Boulevard Detour in Hopkins

 Excelsior Boulevard Detour

Cedar Lake and Kenilworth Trail Detours

Cedar Lake and Kenilworth Trail Detours

Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis Detour

Glenwood Ave. Closure

Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis

 Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis