Rapid growth in the southwest metro area is putting more demands on our existing roads and transit systems. By 2030, cities in this area are expected to add 55,000 residents and 83,000 jobs.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) Green Line Extension is a proposed LRT line that will operate between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, through the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and passing in close proximity to Edina. The proposed alignment includes 15 new stations along approximately 14.5 miles. Three stations are proposed for Hopkins.
In order to reduce the overall cost of the Southwest LRT, the Metropolitan Council adopted a resolution recommending Southwest Station be the Southwest LRT’s westernmost stop (eliminating Mitchell Road Station) and Town Center Station be deferred, as part of $250 million in cost reductions.
The City Councils of Minnetonka, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, Minneapolis, and the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners have provided municipal consent for the revised preliminary design plans for the proposed Southwest LRT project.
Below is a list of all the items deferred, reduced or eliminated corridor-wide in the Metropolitan Council recommendation:
Mitchell Road Station and its park-and-ride facility were eliminated.
Town Center Station and its park-and-ride facility were deferred.
Off-platform station furnishings throughout the corridor, including bike racks, trash cans and seating, were cut by 50 percent. Station platforms will still have seating.
Station art was eliminated throughout the corridor.
The landscaping allowance for trees, sod, plantings/mulch, seed, mulch and topsoil at stations, the operations and maintenance facility and throughout the corridor was cut by 75 percent.
The total number of park-and-ride stalls was reduced from 3,834 to 2,487. All park-and-rides were reduced to surface parking lots with the exception of the park-and-ride structures at Southwest Station and Downtown Hopkins Station.
The light-rail vehicle fleet was reduced by five vehicles; the project will now have 27 vehicles.
The size of the operations and maintenance facility was reduced.
The opportunity for joint development was deleted at Blake Station but retained at Beltline Station.
The trail bridge at Beltline Station is still included, but other trail structures were eliminated, including:
The trail underpass beneath freight tracks at Louisiana Station, which will be replaced with a reroute of pedestrians to the platform via the existing trail access at Louisiana Avenue.
The North Cedar Lake Trail bridge at Penn Station, which will be replaced with an at-grade crossing west of the station platform.
Two pedestrian underpasses at Opus Station under Bren Road East and Bren Road West, which will be replaced with a relocated bus stop on Bren Road West to Bren Road East where patrons can utilize an existing crosswalk to access the station platform.
For more information about this project and to subscribe to receive “Southwest LRT News” email updates, visit www.swlrt.org.