Minnesota’s expensive rail project is moving forward (and the MET Council’s Transportation Committee is breathing a sigh of relief).
According to the StarTribune, the Southwest light-rail line has received four bids ranging from $797 million to $1.08 billion. The next step is for the four groups to go through a comprehensive bid review process with the MET Council.
So who made the bids?
- Ames Kraemer SWLRT Joint Venture at $797 million
- Lunda/C.S. McCrossan, $808 million
- Southwest Rail Constructors, $1.07 billion
- Southwest Transit Constructors, $1.08 billion.
The complex build has a few obstacles to hurdle:
- This project involves 15 passenger stations, 29 bridges, modifications to existing bridges, construction of 8 tunnels, 117 retaining walls, and of course miles of track (14.5 mile line connecting Minneapolis and Eden Prairie).
- Labor shortage. We’re all very aware of a shortage of skilled workers and this could potentially put this project behind.
- Environmental concerns. A federal lawsuit ruling on a case brought by a Minneapolis nonprofit group will be ruled on in the fall.
Construction is expected to begin early 2018, with service to start in 2021.