METRO Blue Line
The increase in traffic congestion in Minneapolis caused many people to push for the reintroduction of rail transport in the Twin Cities. This 12 mile project was the first Light Rail Transit project in the Metro, & the first of two C.S. McCrossan Light Rail Transit projects. The north end of the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit starts at Target Field with the southern portion ending at the Mall of America Transit Center. The Hiawatha Light Rail, now commonly referred to as the Blue Line, connects three of the Twin Cities’ most popular destinations, the Mall of America in Bloomington, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, and downtown Minneapolis.
Prior to construction, the three year Light Rail Transit project required major utility relocations. Upon completion on June 26th 2004, this $306 million dollar Design-Build project provided service for the first time between the Hennepin Avenue Warehouse District and the Fort Snelling Stations. Service was extended in December 2004 to the Mall of America station via the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The Light Rail Transit corridor required the construction of two flyover bridges. The bridges were constructed over Lake Street and TH 62 to allow the Light Rail Transit line to move along the corridor without disrupting traffic flow. The construction involved traffic phasing and unique construction methods to allow for an expedited schedule and to reduce traffic impact.