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Metro Transit yesterday opened a new stairway-elevator tower that connects the St. Paul skyway to street-level transit at the Green Line Central Station.The stairway-elevator tower provides St. Paul commuters, residents and visitors a link between the light-rail station and nearby bus waiting areas, businesses, offices and residences connected through the skyway, Metro Transit officials said in a press release.The $1.7 million project was made possible by an $800,000 federal grant. Additional funding came from Metro Transit's Green Line budget. The stairway-elevator tower was designed by TKDA and built by PCL Construction, with support from Green Line staff.The tower's opening comes a week before the Green Line's grand opening. Green Line trains will begin service at 10 a.m. June 14, and passengers can ride for free on all light-rail trains, buses and Northstar throughout the opening weekend."The opening of this connection is the beginning of many celebrations that will be happening along the Green Line," said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in a prepared statement. "The accessibility advocates and Metropolitan Council should be commended for getting this project completed. It will be a valuable asset for all those who connect to the regional transit system in downtown St. Paul."The Green Line is expected to manage an average of 40,000 weekday boardings by 2030. The line includes 18 new stations, plus five stations shared with the Metro Transit's Blue Line in downtown Minneapolis.
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