Minneapolis and St. Paul, the two largest cities in Minnesota, make up the Twin Cities. With both cities growing culturally and economically, the Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit (METRO) looked to find a public transportation solution to connect the two communities. Using local, state and federal funding, the $957-million, Green Line project, which opened in June 2014, was approved.
Originally known as the Central Corridor, the project is comprised of an 11-mile light rail transit (LRT) system. It links the downtowns of both cities and includes 18 new stations with stops at the state capitol complex, the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus and Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. As an integral part of the region’s transportation network, the Green Line shares one mile of track and five stations with the existing Blue Line LRT in downtown Minneapolis and provides access to the Northstar commuter rail line and the historic St. Paul Union Depot, a gateway for bus and AMTRAK service.
As prime engineering consultants, our transportation professionals worked with the Metropolitan Council to complete the project on time and within budget. AECOM was responsible for all aspects of the project design and also provided support for the Metropolitan Council’s project management, project controls and construction management groups. Specialized services provided by the firm include:
- Retrofitting the Washington Avenue Bridge across the Mississippi River in lieu of a new bridge, saving more than two years and approximately $75 million in project costs;
- Designing specialized floating slab track sections to mitigate noise and vibration at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Public Radio;
- Building the line at grade on Washington Avenue through the University of Minnesota’s East Bank and converting Washington Avenue into a transit mall;
- Providing extensive utility relocation and accommodation throughout the length of the project, especially in downtown St. Paul;
- Designing streetscape enhancements along the corridor and incorporating public art into the station design;
- Utilizing a diagonal route in downtown St. Paul and creating what St. Paul officials regard as a major development opportunity; and
- Adapting an existing abandoned warehouse into a 5,000-square foot vehicle maintenance facility, and replacing the existing building’s monolithic façade to fit better within St. Paul’s downtown historic district.