SWLRT Construction: A Bike Tour of the Construction

If you have have driven, biked, walked, or heard the news in the southwest metro, you might be seeing construction. Especially with biking, this has caused an inconvenience for biking around. Many trails have been closed for multiple years, and detours are in place. However, I was curious and wanted to see the construction. I carefully planned a bike ride to approximate the light rail route. Here’s what I have.

Eden Prairie, MN

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Near Southwest Station, on Prairie Center Drive just east of Technology Drive.

In Eden Prairie, they appear to be drilling to place the new bridge supports. It’s ironic, they closed a popular recreational trail and severed the bike network with barely any construction. However, while next to open holes, they kept this sidewalk open.

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By Eden Road

This is near the Eden Prairie Town Center Station. Funny how I could just walk in! (I didn’t)

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Near US 212 and Valley View Road

In the future, a bridge will soar above this area. The bridge will touch down right ahead on this strip of grass.

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In Golden Triangle, south of 70th Street. Looking north.

The light rail will either parallel the trail or replace it. The crane does not relate to the SWLRT construction.

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US 212 just north of Flying Cloud Drive.

Another light rail bridge will go over from the right and touch down just to the left of the road.

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Cul-de-sac on 62nd Street, just south of MN 62.

A cul-de-sac that will be destroyed and replaced with the City West Station. The trail will remain though. The light rail will then enter a tunnel under MN 62.

Minnetonka, MN

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Near Smetana Road

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South of Bren Road

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South of Smetana Road

Some construction is taking place here in Opus. The forested area in the second photo will be gone. The trails will be realigned.

Hopkins, MN

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West of 11th Avenue

The light rail will operate north of the trail. This trail will be closed until July 2020.

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West of 5th Avenue

This is on a three-block open section of the Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail. Construction is commencing here for the Downtown Hopkins Station

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At Excelsior Boulevard Railroad Crossing

The light rail will cross on a bridge above where I’m standing and move to the south side of the railroad and trail.

St. Louis Park, MN

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At Louisiana Avenue

The bridges are being replaced here at Louisiana Avenue. The light rail will cross just south of here. The Louisiana Avenue Station is just east of here.

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At Wooddale Avenue

The light rail will have a station just opposite of here. The trail will go through a tunnel under Wooddale Avenue.

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At Beltline Boulevard

The light rail will have a station just opposite of here. The trail will go over a bridge over the railroad, light rail, and Beltline Boulevard.

 

I was getting tired, and went home. The eastern section will come next spring! Thanks for reading!

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6 Responses to SWLRT Construction: A Bike Tour of the Construction

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke October 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm #

    Cool pics! Should do a “before and after” in a few years.

  2. Sam Bauman October 16, 2019 at 1:23 pm #

    I was looking at the Beltline construction the other day and am kind of confused, is the trail really going to be on a bridge that goes all the way from Beltline to where the current trail crosses the train tracks? That seems like a long bridge.

  3. Luke October 19, 2019 at 11:18 am #

    It strikes me that all these pictures are of wide open grassy areas and suburban freeways. You wouldn’t look at these pics out of context and say “I see a need for mass transit”.

    Still excited for the train though. I hope it surprises us and does really well…and doesn’t go the way of Denver’s R Line

    • Nick M October 21, 2019 at 7:42 am #

      Despite being held up as a peer city the is “doing things” and “investing in transit”, Denver is really, really bad at transportation. I say that as someone with many co-workers in Denver who routinely say that transit is unreliable for commuting, let alone non-work trips.

      Passing a referendum supporting transit =/= good transit gets built.

      • Dan October 21, 2019 at 12:07 pm #

        Well not unlike the planned LRT extensions here Denver has prioritized ‘easy to build’ routes using existing freight right of way that are usually far away from the walkable and dense neighborhood nodes that might effectively support transit use

    • helsinki October 29, 2019 at 1:25 pm #

      This is the fundamental problem with SWLRT. Unlike the other two lines, this line serves irredeemably auto-centric development. There are no real “walk sheds” here. As a result, passenger numbers are effectively capped at the number of people who drive to the stations – a low number, even with huge parking structures.

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