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HCRRA – Southwest Light Rail Transit Corridor – Minnesota - Project Profile

HCRRA – Southwest Light Rail Transit Corridor – Minnesota - Project Profile


"HCRRA – Southwest Light Rail Transit Corridor – Minnesota - Project Profile" contains information on the scope of the project including project overview and location. The profile also details project ownership and funding, gives a full project description, as well as information on contracts, tendering and key project contacts.

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The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) is planning to build a light rail transit connecting Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, the US.

The project involves the construction of a 23km light rail transit system connecting Edina, Hopkins, and St. Louis Park with new 15 new stations namely, SouthWest, Golden Triangle, City West, Opus, Shady Oak, Downtown Hopkins, Blake, Louisiana, Wooddale, Beltline, West Lake, 21st Street, Penn, Van White, Royalston and Target Field.

The line will connect major activity centers in the region including downtown Minneapolis, Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, downtown Hopkins and the Opus/Golden Triangle employment area in Minnetonka and Eden Prairie.

The project will include construction of eight park and rides with nearly 2,500 new parking spaces, 450-space structure at SouthWest Station, 29 bridges ,two light rail tunnels, six pedestrian tunnels, passenger drop off areas, bicycle and pedestrian access, a new or restructured local bus routes connecting stations to nearby residential, an Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) with facilities for storage and light maintenance of light rail vehicles as well as offices for supervisory staff, commercial and educational destinations, and the installation of signaling units, electric lines, and the laying of tracks.

The project will be funded through a mix of federal (Federal Transit Administration), state and local sources like Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority will contribute US$185.8 million and Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) is US$516.5 million and, with federal funds making up approximately half the total nearly US$929 million towards the project.

In 2002, the Minnesota government initiated a feasibility study for the development of rail transit that was completed in 2004.

HCRRA evaluated LPA 1A, LPA 3A, LPA 3A-1, LPA 3C-1, LPA 3C-2 route alternatives and selected 3A as a most feasible route.

In 2005, HCRRA started reviewing the feasibility study report for identifying a preferred alternative route and thus identified a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the Southwest Transitway in 2010.

HCRRA hired HDR Engineering Inc. of Minneapolis to assist in the preparation of the Southwest Transitway Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The contract scope includes refining the three LRT alternatives that resulted from the Alternatives Analysis (AA) study and for the selection of the LPA.

In 2008, HCRRA initiated an environmental study called DEIS detailing the development plans.

In 2010, HDR Engineering, Inc. and Archaeological Research Services (ARS) conducted an archaeological investigation for 1A.

In August 2010, the Metropolitan Council applied to the Federal Transit Administration for approval to enter Preliminary Engineering (PE).

In September 2011, the Federal Transit Administration approved the project to move forward with the preliminary engineering studies.

In June of 2012, SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an archaeological investigation on 1A for the freight rail relocation corridor.

In November 2012, Hennepin County held three public hearings to receive public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

In December 2012, the Metropolitan Council became the project lead with the transfer of Responsible Government Unit status from Hennepin County.

Public hearings were held to assess the environmental impact. DEIS was published in October 2012, with a public comment period concluding on December 31, 2012.

Anderson Engineering of Minnesota, LLC was appointed to provide geographical services on 1A by 106 Group Ltd. 10,000 Lakes Archaeology, LLC; Archaeological Research Services and Merjent, Inc., have been appointed as archaeological consultants for 1A.

Hess, Roise and Co. and Mead & Hunt were appointed as surveyors for 1A and Sambatek, Inc. as civil engineer

On January 7, 2013, two US$16.8 million contracts were awarded by Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities to perform preliminary engineering work. AECOM was contracted for the western section and Kimley-Horn for the eastern section of the route.

Over US$94 million funds were needed for Preliminary Engineering of the project. The fund allocation was as follows: US$19 million from State; US$19 million from HCRRA; and US$56 million from the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB).

On September 4, 2013, the advisory panel rejected the option for US$330 million tunnel to carry Southwest light-rail line.

Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. provided Environmental Site Assessment (EIA) modifications in 2013.

During the third and fourth quarter of 2013, 106 Group Ltd conducted an archeological investigation for newly proposed adjustments. The proposed adjustments were identified as part of Project Development activities, initiated by the Metropolitan Council in January 2013 to progress the project’s design and respond to comments received on the DEIS.

In April 2014, the project was approved by the Metropolitan Council for the final route and the shallow tunnel option.

In August 2014, St. Louis Park and Eden Prairie approved the proposed plans for the project. HCRRA secured the approvals from Twin Cities Metropolitan Council for the implementation of the project. HCRRA will now submit proposals to the federal government for final approval.

On December 10, 2014, AECOM was awarded Advanced Design Consultant(ADC) Services for the project.

In the first quarter of 2015, the project was delayed as EIA deadline was extended to May 2015 and cost increased.

In September 2015, the Minneapolis City Council (MCC) approved the project plans but failed to receive final approval and financial backing from the legislators.

On August 31, 2016, the MCC approved US$145 million funding for the project. Hennepin County Regional Real Authority will contribute US$103.5 million in debt and Counties Transit Improvement Board will contribute US$41 million. These contributions will together fill a US$144.5 million funding gap, made up by the remaining necessary state match of US$135 million plus US$9.5 million in local delay costs caused by the legislature’s inaction in May 2016.

On October 26, 2016, Siemens secured US$118 million contract to supply 27 new light rail transit vehicles for the project.

The project is expected to secure funding by the Federal Transit Administration, the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB), the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), the Metropolitan Council, the State of Minnesota, and the cities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie.

The federal government is expected to approve US$900 million in funding for the project.

On December 5, 2016, Construction Contracting Open House meeting was held.

On December 21, 2016, HCRRA secured approvals from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to prepare bid documents for heavy construction.

On February 14, 2017, MCC issued an invitation for bids document to appoint a contractor for the project works with submission deadline as May 2, 2017. The scope of contract includes construction of new bridges, pedestrian cut and cover LRT tunnels, cut and cover tunnels, modifications to existing bridges, retaining walls, light rail track, park-and-ride surface lots and a parking ramp, light rail stations, the demolition of existing buildings, trail improvements, freight rail relocation, underground public utilities, underground communications, drainage, sidewalk and roadway pavements, street lighting, signal and traction power ducts, above and below-grade traffic signal facilities, and catenary pole foundations.

The bidders include teams of:-

Walsh Group of Chicago and Brownsville and Wisconsin-based Michels Corp.

Burnsville-based Ames Construction and Black River Falls, Wisconsin- based Kraemer North America

Maple Grove-based C.S. McCrossan, Black River Falls, Wisconsin-based Lunda Construction and Pasadena, California-based Parsons Corp.

Golden Valley-based Mortenson Construction with California-based Granite Construction and Lane Construction Corp. of Connecticut.

In May 2017, the tender process was delayed and a bid submission deadline was extended to August 15, 2017. The contractor for the project is scheduled to be awarded in November 2017.

Construction work is expected to commence by the end of fourth quarter of 2017 and expected to be completed in 2021.


The project involves the construction of a 23km light rail transit system connecting Eden Prairie with downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, the US.

The US$1,858 million project includes the following:

1. Construction of new railway line

2. Construction of 2,500 new parking spaces

3. Construction of passenger drop off areas

4. Construction of bicycle and pedestrian access

5. Construction of new or restructured local bus routes

6. Construction of 15 stations

7. Construction of eight park and rides

8. Construction of 29 bridges

9. Construction of six pedestrian tunnels

10. Construction of two light rail tunnels

11. Construction of an Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF)

12. Laying of tracks

13. Installation of signaling units

14. Installation of electric linesReasons To Buy

  • Gain insight into the project.
  • Monitor the latest project developments.
  • Identify key project contacts.

1.Key Statistics
2.Key Dates
4.Operating metrics
5.Tender Information
8.Latest update
10.Key Contacts
11.General News, Project News

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