Met Council approves largest bid in Central Corridor projectby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Heavy construction work on the Central Corridor light rail line between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis begins in August.
Chicago-based Walsh Construction has won a $205 million contract for preparing seven miles of light rail corridor along University Avenue in St. Paul.
Central Corridor planning director Mark Fuhrmann says that's the single largest contract in the project but other large ones remain open. One of them is for the work from the eastern border of Minneapolis through the University of Minnesota campus to the city's downtown.
"That will include the retrofit of Washington Avenue bridge, that will be followed by a systems contract award, that's all the electrical work along the alignment, then thereafter there'll be the award for the light rail vehicles, we'll have to purchase 31 new light rail vehicles for Central Corridor," he said.
Fuhrmann says the Metropolitan Council's approval of Walsh on Wednesday means heavy construction begins in August with most of the work slated for next year.
"It will entail the reconstruction of University Avenue, which will cause some disruption during the construction but most importantly it's going to construct seven miles of light rail road and construct 14 new stations in St. Paul," he said.
Preliminary construction on the $957 million Central Corridor light rail line from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis has been underway for months.
By year end, Metropolitan Council officials expect approval of the federal government's contribution which covers half the price tag.
Completion of the project is expected in 2014.
Officials expect completion of the Central Corridor light rail line by 2014.
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