Southwest LRT Construction Update: November 8, 2019
Construction Hotline: 612-373-3933
Setting-up Winter Conditions
With below freezing temperatures in the forecast we will be preparing many of the sites along the Southwest LRT corridor for winter working conditions. Crews will be finishing paving work, earthwork, and site stabilization. Many activities will continue over the winter months including: Prairie Center Drive Bridge sheeting and support piling, Nine Mile Creek piling, Louisiana Bridge span construction, Beltline Trail Bridge span construction, and Kenilworth Tunnel sheet pile installation.
Weekly Construction Photo: Louisiana Avenue in St. Louis Park
The center piers are placed, and crews work (as seen in the background) on abutments. Bridge spans over Louisiana Avenue will take shape later this year.
North Cedar Lake Trail Short-Term Detour
Beginning the week of November 11, for approximately one week, MnDOT will be conducting drainage and maintenance work around I-394 that will impact trail detours. This work is unrelated to the Southwest LRT project. However, we have been coordinating with MnDOT on pedestrian and bicycle detours and appropriate signage in this area. Pedestrians and bikers will be rerouted onto Kenwood Parkway (see detour maps below). The rest of the detour route remains the same.
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. Then crews will demolish the current SouthWest Transit Station passenger waiting area and former office building through January. The west entrance to the shopping area and parking ramp is temporarily closed and will continue to be closed through late November. Crews are currently working on grading and paving the bus loop.
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.
Eden Road Area in Eden Prairie
Crews continue to perform grading and retaining wall work. Retaining walls have taken shape in the area. A few of the retaining walls have been completed and crews are beginning to backfill around the wall, which will then allow other construction activities to begin. Utility companies are also working in the area and near Flying Cloud Drive towards the east.
LRT Bridge at I-494/Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie
Pier construction in the center median of I-494 for the new LRT bridge is complete. Crews will resume work on the north abutment in the coming weeks; traffic control barriers continue to be in place. The I-494 eastbound ramp to TH 212 remains closed. See detour map below.
Valley View Road/Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie
A lane restriction has been added in the area of Flying Cloud Drive and TH 212, where work has begun on the ramp from Valley View Road to TH 212. Traffic is being diverted onto the HOV lane. 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 begin next week and continue through the winter.
Golden Triangle Station in Eden Prairie
Crews are working on the foundation of the Golden Triangle Station; concrete and erosion control work is also ongoing in the area. Crews are working to install retaining walls that include drilled foundations. Piling activities will continue in the Golden Triangle Station area during the daytime. Night piling work is anticipated to resume later this Fall. Night work could 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
Crews have shifted eastbound traffic to a single lane on new temporary pavement. Crews are working to complete construction activities in the median, where pavement is being widened for the traffic shift. Weather permitting, we anticipate final paving for the shift to occur over the next two weeks. Both eastbound and westbound traffic will shift to the south side of the highway, two lanes in each direction. Once traffic is shifted crews will begin the construction of the cut and cover LRT tunnel under the westbound lanes of TH 62. Expect traffic delays through the duration of these activities.
Red Circle Drive and Yellow Circle Drive in Minnetonka
Starting in mid to late November, 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 Court to Feltl Road remains closed until mid-next week (see detour map below). The temporary roadway bypass construction will also be completed next week. After the bypass is open Smetana Road from Feltl Road to Nolan Drive will close for up to a year (see upcoming detour map below). We anticipate this second phase of closures will begin the week of November 18th. Signs will be posted seven days before each closure. Utility companies are working near the Opus Station.
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 continues and is anticipated to be completed next week.
Excelsior Boulevard Area in Hopkins
Excelsior Boulevard at the freight railroad crossing will remain closed to all vehicle traffic until the week of November 18. Crews are working on underground utilities, freight rail tracks and the LRT bridge structure. Expect traffic delays in this area. 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 2021 (see detour maps below). 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 closure of roadways upcoming at various dates.
Blake Road in Hopkins
Crews are constructing a cut and cover tunnel under Blake Road for the regional trail. Southbound traffic continues to be diverted to the east side of the road, with one lane in each direction; this will last for approximately six months. Once tunnel work is complete on the west side of the road, the work will shift to the east side of the road and traffic will be diverted to the west side of the road.
Minnehaha Creek in St. Louis Park
Crews demolished the regional trail bridge that spans Minnehaha Creek in St. Louis Park. Sheet piling and excavation for the new freight and trail bridge abutments are underway in the area. Flaggers are monitoring recreational water use during times that construction activities make it unsafe to travel through the creek. Individuals using the waterway may encounter intermittent closures lasting approximately 20 minutes during construction activity.
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. Another full closure of Louisiana Avenue is anticipated early December to set bridge beams. It is anticipated that duration of this closure will be 3 days. Signs will be posted seven days prior to the closure.
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 abutments will begin in the coming weeks.
Beltline Boulevard in St. Louis Park
Work on the new South Cedar Lake Trail Bridge continues. Crews are working on bridge abutments and performing pier work. Crews are also working on retaining walls in the area, which includes pile driving. Work in this area will continue through winter.
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 is anticipated to continue during the winter months. No work is currently anticipated in the next week.
Kenilworth Area Construction in Minneapolis
Sheet piling for the Kenilworth LRT Tunnel could start next week, as soon as the final pieces of equipment are delivered to the site. The contractor plans to start tunnel sheet piling work near Park Siding Park and will move north towards Cedar Lake Parkway. 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 with two press-in-pilers. 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: swlrt.org. 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.
Burnham Road in Minneapolis
Temporary pavement was installed late this week and the roadway has been reopened.
Cedar Lake Parkway in Minneapolis
Centerpoint Energy utility work will begin next week on the northern half (westbound) of Cedar Lake Parkway between Burnham Road and Benton Blvd. Work in this area will last until the third week of November. There will be minor impacts to vehicle traffic. The sidewalk/trail along the north side Cedar Lake Parkway is anticipated to be closed. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be able to travel through this area on the south side of the roadway.
Cedar Lake (Kenilworth) Channel and Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Minneapolis
Pier construction and piling for the new freight bridge is ongoing. Some piling work will occur north of channel for retaining walls. Individuals using the waterway between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake may encounter intermittent closures lasting approximately 20 minutes during construction activity. A full closure of the Cedar Lake Channel is expected later this Fall or winter; a 14-day advanced notification will be provided prior to a full closure.
21st Street in Minneapolis
The contractor has completed sheet piling work for the retaining wall immediately north of 21st Street using the press-in-piler. Activities to complete the wall, such as placing concrete are ongoing.
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).
For the week of November 11, for approximately one week, MnDOT will be working on drainage work. Please follow MnDOT detour onto Kenwood Parkway (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. See detour map below. Utility work, retaining wall installation and freight track preparation continues.
Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis
Utility work on Royalston Avenue is ongoing. Work is anticipated to last until mid-November. Crews will work on the west side of the road; southbound traffic will be diverted to the east side of the road. After the utility work is complete, work on the LRT bridge piers will begin on the east side of the road.
Northbound I-494 to Eastbound TH 212 Detour
Yellow Circle Roadway Changes in Minnetonka
Current 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
Excelsior Boulevard Detour in Hopkins
Cedar Lake and Kenilworth Trail Detours
Cedar Lake Trail in Minneapolis with MnDOT Detour
Southwest LRT Cedar Lake Trail Detour in Minneapolis
Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis Detour