Central Corridor Light Rail Transit/METRO Green Line

University Avenue, Cedar Avenue, Robert Street & 4th Street, Minneapolis to St. Paul, Minnesota

1. Project overview

The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT), or METRO Green Line, is comprised of an 11-mile light rail transit line that connects downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. The project area lies within Hennepin and Ramsey Counties and covers nearly 6,490 acres or 10 square miles of land. More specifically, the METRO Green Line connects with the METRO Blue Line at Target Field (home of the Minnesota Twins) in downtown Minneapolis, and then traverses east through the University of Minnesota - Minneapolis campus along University Avenue all the way to downtown St. Paul. The METRO Green Line runs through some of the most densely populated neighborhoods and diverse communities in the Twin Cities.

The project was a collaborative effort between the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation as construction of the light rail tracks required the relocation of public and private underground utilities within the utility-dense corridor, thus also dubbing the project "the largest utility project in Minnesota history".

The corridor was historically used for transit for more than a century, with streetcars following much of the same route as the METRO Green Line beginning in 1890. The streetcars were shut down and buses fully replaced streetcars on University Avenue in 1953. After that, the Metropolitan Council offered limited-stop bus service on University Avenue.
Along with historical transit uses, the corridor was home to a variety of land uses with recognized environmental concerns such as grain elevators, machine shops, automobile repair, tire vulcanizing, gas holders, chemical laboratories, foundries, paint and varnish manufacturers, steel and iron factories, printers, gasoline filling stations, bulk petroleum facilities, electrical substations, battery shops, railroad yards, and dry cleaners.

Due to the historical use, the transit corridor had underlying contamination, making it a massive underused Brownfields area. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 7% of Minnesota's contaminated sites are located within the corridor.

In June 2014, the METRO Green Line triumphantly opened to passenger service. Daily ridership is projected to reach 40,000 passengers by 2030. It is estimated that approximately $2.5 billion dollars in redevelopment of the corridor is planned or underway as a direct result of the METRO Green Line project. Successful cleanup of the METRO Green Line not only created a new light rail transit line, but also created the opportunity to strengthen the regional economy and make the adjacent neighborhoods a safer environment for living, working, and playing.

Braun Intertec Corporation,
11001 Hampshire Avenue S, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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