Despite it being the middle of the winter with more limited activities, January and February will see work in most segments of the project corridor. Here is an overview of the elements underway:
15 of 29 new bridges are under construction. The Cedar Lake Channel freight bridge and the Louisiana Avenue freight bridge have more than half of the structural elements complete.
Four of eight tunnels have elements in the ground. The two LRT tunnels, under Highway 62 and in Kenilworth, have either sheeting or excavation work started.
24 of 130 retaining walls are under construction.
Two of the 16 stations are 25% complete, with a total of four stations underway. Structural elements to support the roof canopy on Golden Triangle and Downtown Hopkins Stations will begin late January or early February, depending on weather.
Weekly Construction Photo: Beltline Boulevard Regional Trail Bridge in St. Louis Park
With much of the pier work complete, spans are being set for the Beltline Boulevard Regional Trail Bridge. Crews will be working to set rebar and “falsework,” items that are used just for construction, to advance bridge spans and deck. Once completed, regional trail users can use this safer route to cross Beltline Boulevard and continue on the South Cedar Lake Trail.
SouthWest Transit temporary bus station is anticipated to open on Monday, January 20.
The second press-in-piler arrived in the Kenilworth Corridor.
Mark your calendars for the Southwest LRT Construction Training Fair on January 22, 2020, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM at the Minneapolis Urban League. See details in the Construction Training Fair flyer (PDF).
On-going Activities Update
SouthWest Station Area in Eden Prairie
On Monday, January 20 it is anticipated the SouthWest temporary bus station facility and waiting area will open. SouthWest buses will drop-off and pick-up from this new location (see pedestrian detour map below). The final building inspections will occur next week, and staff will move into the new building. The shift to the temporary facility allows for the demolition of a portion of existing SouthWest facilities to accommodate the construction of the new shared bus/LRT station. Access to the SouthWest Station parking lot and drop off area will remain the same during construction.
Pier work for the new LRT bridge that wraps around the SouthWest Station park-and ride structure will continue into Spring 2020. The right-turn lane on the eastbound Highway 212 ramp to Prairie Center Drive remains closed until Spring 2020, to accommodate the completion of retaining wall work. By 2021 approximately 2,000 piles will have been driven for retaining walls, bridges, station and the parking structure.
Sidewalks along Prairie Center and Technology Drive remain closed, please follow local signage to ensure your safety.
Purgatory Creek Park/ Prairie Center Drive in Eden Prairie
On the west side of Prairie Center Drive, near Purgatory Creek Park, bridge pier work will begin as early as mid-January. As work progresses, sidewalk detours will be needed, and later there will be impacts to roadways. More details to follow as work ramps up.
Eden Road Area in Eden Prairie
Retaining wall work has concluded for the winter; backfilling will resume in the spring.
LRT Bridge at I-494/Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie
Excavation for the north abutment has begun, with piling driving starting the week of January 13. These activities will continue for the next few months. Traffic control barriers continue to be in place. The I-494 eastbound ramp to Highway 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 Highway 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.
Nine Mile Creek in Eden Prairie
Pile driving for the LRT bridge structure and abutments at Nine Mile Creek will continue through the winter. The sidewalk on the west side of Flying Cloud Drive is closed; pedestrians can use the east side.
Golden Triangle Station in Eden Prairie
Daytime work continues in the area as crews focus on structural elements for the Golden Triangle Station roof canopy. Crews continue welding and concrete work for area retaining walls. Work has progressed to a point where we can shift more construction activities to daytime. Additional night work may be scheduled in the future as work between the Golden Triangle Station and the bridge over Shady Oak Road and Highway 212 continues. Pile driving will continue into Summer 2020.
Shady Oak Road & Highway 212 in Eden Prairie
Work will begin in this area as early as the beginning of February. More details on roadway impacts to follow in the coming weeks.
Highway 62 in Minnetonka
The traffic lanes have been shifted to the south side of the highway to accommodate tunnel construction on the north side of the highway. This traffic configuration will be in place through 2020. Crews continue excavation for the LRT tunnel. Pile driving to support excavation of the LRT tunnel began on Tuesday this week.
Red Circle Drive and Yellow Circle Drive in Minnetonka
Yellow and Red Circle Drives have been reconfigured. Yellow Circle Drive is temporarily dead-ended with a cul-de-sac where it connects to Red Circle Drive, and Yellow Circle has become a two-way roadway in the area south of Blue Circle Drive. A temporary by-pass road has also been completed on Red Circle Drive. This roadway configuration will allow for ongoing tunnel construction on Highway 62 and will be in place until Fall 2020. See a map of the roadway changes below.
Opus Station Area in Minnetonka
Soil correction efforts are underway. Retaining wall and utility work is anticipated in the area late January.
Smetana Road in Minnetonka and Hopkins
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 traffic in this area. See detour maps below.
Feltl Court/Nolan Drive Area in Hopkins
In mid-to-late January, preparation work including tree clearing and ground cover removal for the Minnetonka-Hopkins Bridge will begin. Bridge work will be ongoing into 2021.
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 Shady Oak Road and 11th Avenue South is closed due to storm sewer construction activities. This portion of the trail is closed until Summer 2020.
The section between 11th Avenue South and 5th Avenue South is closed until Fall 2021.
Downtown Hopkins Station
Foundation work for the station is complete. Work on the station structure will start this month.
Excelsior Boulevard Area in Hopkins
Crews continue to work on the LRT bridge piers and underground utilities in the area.
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, bikes and pedestrians, with separate closures of roadways upcoming at various dates. See detour maps below.
Blake Road in Hopkins
Crews are constructing a cut and cover tunnel for the regional trail under Blake Road. 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 east side of the roadway and traffic will remain reduced to one lane in each direction.
Minnehaha Creek in St. Louis Park
Work on the new freight and trail bridge abutments continues in this area. The west abutments are almost complete. 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
Later this winter crews will begin work to place bridge beams. East of Louisiana Avenue, crews continue to build the trail underpass which will allow access under the freight rail line to the station area. Piling driving for retaining walls also continues in the area.
Wooddale Avenue in St. Louis Park
Utility work started in the area to make way for upcoming work on the regional trail underpass and Wooddale Station. There will be minor impacts to roadways in the surrounding area. Retaining wall work will begin in the area in mid-January. Impacts to the roadway are anticipated as early as February, more details to follow in the coming weeks.
Highway 100 in St. Louis Park
The project will be re-positioning the existing freight rail bridge and will build a new LRT bridge over Highway 100 in the spring/summer of 2020. Work on bridge abutments will resume in mid-January.
Beltline Boulevard in St. Louis Park
Work on the new South Cedar Lake Trail Bridge continues. Crews are constructing beams, rebar and “falsework” (items only needed to complete construction that are later removed) for the bridge.
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 West 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 in this area in February.
Kenilworth Area Construction in Minneapolis
Sheet piling for the Kenilworth tunnel continues, moving north from Park Siding Park. Sheeting will stop short of Cedar Lake Parkway and the press-in-piler will return south, working towards Lake Street. A second press-in-piler has arrived. The second piler will move in the same direction, on the west side (opposite side) of the LRT tunnel. Sheeting installation is expected to last until Summer 2020.
Tunnel excavation is anticipated to begin Spring 2020. 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 is also available.
Burnham Road in Minneapolis
The Burnham Road bridge has been returned to a one-way road. The two-way detour will be reinstated when Cedar Lake Parkway is closed for tunnel construction in spring/summer 2020.
Cedar Lake (Kenilworth) Channel and Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Minneapolis
Pile driving for the last of the four piers for the freight bridge has begun. Work on the abutments also continues.
21st Street in Minneapolis
Retaining wall activities are being completed in the area. Intermittent work will continue.
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.
Crews constructed a temporary trail bypass in the area where the North Cedar Lake Trail connects to the Kenilworth Trail. New signage is in place to direct trail users onto this newly constructed segment. This work is in preparation for station construction in Spring 2020.
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. As earthwork activities begin in the Bryn Mawr Station area in the next few months, anticipate flaggers in the area.
Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis
Glenwood Avenue between Lyndale Avenue North and 11th Street North is closed until mid‑2021. 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 on the east side of Royalston Avenue is ongoing and will continue through the winter. Expect pile driving activities in this area. Northbound Royalston Avenue is reduced to one lane and southbound Royalston Avenue is closed between Border Avenue and 5th Avenue until Summer 2021. See the roadway impact map below.
SouthWest Transit Station Pedestrian Detour in Eden Prairie
Northbound I-494 to Eastbound TH 212 Detour
Yellow Circle Roadway Changes in Minnetonka
Smetana Road in Minnetonka and Hopkins Detour
Minnesota River Bluff Trail from Shady Oak Road to 5th Avenue Detour