The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 27 January 2014 12:32cat

Minneapolis Green Line Nearly Complete

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The Green Line will open on June 14th The Green Line will open on June 14th Metropolitan Council

The 26.8-mile METRO Green Line project, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, is nearly complete.  Construction on the $957 million light-rail line started in 2010 and is now 98 percent finished.  The line will open for service on June 14th.  In the mean time, the Metropolitan Council will begin testing the new train cars and training 61 operators during the weekdays.   Siemens Industry Incorporated has already delivered over half of the line’s 47 cars.  The cars cost around $3.3 million each, with a total contract value of $153 million.  Siemens is also delivering 12 new cars for the Blue Line, the cities’ other light-rail line.  The Siemens LRVs will be the second generation of light-rail cars that the Metropolitan Council has purchased, and the cars will allow higher capacity trains to run at a greater frequency during rush hour.

The Green Line received final approval from the Metropolitan Council on June 28, 2006.  The Twin Cities used to have a streetcar line operating from the 1890’s until 1953. These tracks were excavated in 2012 to construct the new line.  The project plan included the construction of 18 new stations.  The route will run trains every 10-15 minutes from 4 a.m. through the day until 1 a.m to serve the expected 42,000 daily riders.  A one-way ticket will cost between $1.75 and $2.25 depending on the time of day.  Federal funding paid half of the project’s $957 million price tag, and the other half was split between state and local governments.  The Green Line is expected to help the area’s economy by creating more operation and maintenance jobs, as well as more restaurants and shops around the new stations.  Some business owners are against the line, however, because it will reduce parking on some streets up to 87%.  The University of Minnesota also fears that the train vibrations could affect the university’s research facilities.  METRO believes that the line will not disrupt any of the laboratories.  The Metropolitan Council is planning a public ceremony for the June 14th opening and will offer free rides on the day of the grand opening.

Sources: Star TribuneMetro Council

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