Long awaited project to create 7,500 construction jobs
The 14.5 mile long Southwest Light Rail Transit – METRO Green Line Extension project can finally begin, based on a letter issued by the Federal Transit Administration. The letter allows the Metropolitan (Met) Council the ability to begin spending local dollars with the expectation those funds will be reimbursed later. Tutor Perini Corporation, announced that the joint venture between its wholly owned subsidiary Lunda Construction and C.S McCrossan has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $799.5 million by the Met Council. The overall project cost for the project is $2 billion with an important $929 million grant form the federal government. The project is being considered as the largest public infrastructure project in Minnesota’s history and is expecting to create 7,500 jobs bringing an estimated payroll of $350 million.
According to projected plans, heavy construction will occur from 2019 through 2022, with anticipated completion some time in 2023. The METRO Green Line Extension will operate on a route with 16 stations from downtown Minneapolis through the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie in the southwest suburbs.
“The Southwest Light Rail Transit project is a critical economic development project for the people of Minnesota,” said Governor Mark Dayton in a news release. “It will create new jobs, reduce highway congestion and better connect Minnesotans to one another.”
Once Completed, the project will improve access to jobs, with an expected 18 percent increase of job opportunities along the corridor and in downtown Minneapolis. In addition, the Met council estimates population to grow along the transit line by 56 percent in the next 17 years. The council estimates 34,000 riders on week days upon its opening.