URS loses big Southwest Corridor light-rail contract to competitors

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 19, 2012 - 9:08 PM

Sabo Bridge designer was shut out of Southwest Corridor project.

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palsarDec. 19, 12 5:14 PM

Current LRT line, $1 Billion, Central Corridor, $1 Billion, SW Corridor, $1.25 Billion. Wasn't there another line up through Brooklyn Park. That's another billion dollars. What a HUGE waste of money! Not to mention the millions needed to maintain PLUS the millions taxpayers have to pay to cover operations since fares only contribute about 28%.

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bwikDec. 19, 12 5:26 PM

I think it is shameful that the routing totally avoids Uptown and Lake Street, areas that are huge users of transit. This project is insane. They are ramming trains through wetlands where nobody lives up above Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake. Meanwhile, southside of Minneapolis gets totally ignored. What were they thinking? The LRT would be great going to Eat Street, Uptown, Calhoun Beach Club and West on 7. This was called Routing 3C, totally possible, but they wanted to give Eden Prairie just a little bit faster service to downtown. No big deal, it's only Minneapolis.

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teddygDec. 19, 12 6:36 PM

I agree with bwik. The siting for the SW LRT is bad... cramming it up along the peaceful neighborhood and wetlands near Cedar Lake. Just 3 wks ago, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I was cycling down the adjacent trail by Cedar Lake and a 10-point buck comes trotting past me on the grass strip that will soon be LRT. In 3 years, they have 10 foot high fences, high volt wire, and they'll be no more of that mischief by mr. whitetail buck.

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exrepublicanDec. 19, 12 6:40 PM

As always, the tea party fanatics scream about how light rail does not "pay for itself," using the talking points given to them by extreme right-wing radio and all the various front groups of the Koch brothers. Rail and trainsit are held to some weird standard, where they are supposed to be "profitable," but the road to some far-flung exurb--not to mention the other infrastructure like sewers, gas lines, power lines, etc.--that were paid for by we taxpayers who do not want to hide from the rest of the world--are not held to any standard at all. We are told the gas tax covers all those new roads, when in reality it only covers about 60%--even taking into account the 2% of the gas tax that goes to transit. And then they simply make up numbers, like saying "fares only contribute about 28%" of operating costs, when the farebox recovery rate for LRT is actually about 85%. Here is the good news: these same people are the ones who called the Hiawatha Line "the train to nowhere" and said it would only be ridden by "thugs and criminals." And today we are talking about the FOURTH and FIFTH rail lines planned for the Metro area. Slowly, logic, reason and facts have won.

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markc1Dec. 19, 12 6:43 PM

Nice to see this money being spent on lite rail to make our city better and not on more tax cuts for the rich or for more wars.

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copper88Dec. 19, 12 8:01 PM

We should be thinking about the future of rail in uptown. It should be tunneled under hennepin from downtown, to Lake Calhoun where it can run on the old street car right of way to DT Edina. Then it can run down France to Southdale and points beyond. Stop crying about the Southwest corridor bypassing uptown. Uptown is entitled to it's own line, underground. It would be expensive but a lot of people live in Uptown and more are moving there everyday.

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jasonsamuelsDec. 19, 12 8:32 PM

Regarding the line bypassing Uptown, the peoposed 3C routing had major flaws. It was slated to run along the Midtown Greenway, then tunnel under Nicollet surfacing north of Franklin. The estimate was several hundred million dollars more, and it would have disrupted the small businesses on Eat Street without eventually providing them service. The right decision was made to choose a more cost-effective alignment that's quicker to downtown from the suburbs. It ought to be complimented with a limited-stop Greenway streetcar line that connects Southwest to Hiawatha with service in-between.

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dtmonkeyboyDec. 19, 12 9:26 PM

If money were no object tunneling would be great...but moneyis a factor.

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rshacklefordDec. 20, 12 1:04 AM

Why award contracts before any citizen allows it to run through his/her backyard? This thing isn't even close to being a done deal...or is it?

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erikj3Dec. 20, 12 1:25 AM

Not surprising, given URS's safety issues on several bridges in the area.

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