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Minneapolis Southwest light-rail construction potentially delayed

The Southwest light-rail project will most likely not be meeting its opening day projection of 2023, Metropolitan Council officials said.
Photo – Metro Transit


The Metropolitan Council last week announced that construction on the Southwest light-rail project, a 14.5-mile extension of Metro Transit’s Green Line in Hennepin County, Minnesota, may be delayed due to unforeseen conditions in the alignment's Minneapolis segment, and that the project will most likely not meet its opening day projection of 2023.

In 2020, the project staff and contractor, Lunda-McCrossan Joint Venture, encountered poor soil conditions during the initial construction of a rail tunnel in the Kenilworth corridor. Now, crews must introduce an alternative construction method to complete the tunnel, Metropolitan Council officials said in a press release.

Crews will stabilize the soils and protect the foundations of adjacent building by constructing a secant wall.

Crews will also construct an 1-mile corridor protection wall — located in BNSF Railway Co.’s Wayzata Subdivision in Minneapolis from the Bryn Mawr Station to just east of Interstate 94 — to add an additional layer of protection between BNSF freight trains and Metro Transit light-rail trains. 

BNSF required the protection wall to be constructed after final design and civil construction contracting. 

“These are not small changes and require thoughtful and deliberate engineering, design plans and construction methods,” Metropolitan Council officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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