Posts Tagged ‘ LRT ’

Central Corridor Update

From the Met Council:

The Metropolitan Council has awarded the first heavy construction contract for the Central Corridor light rail transit Project to Walsh Construction to build the seven-mile St. Paul segment of the line. Walsh’s $205.1 million award includes betterment work valued at $10.4 million that was requested by, and will be paid for, by cooperating agencies and utilities.

Construction is expected to begin in August east of the state Capitol on Robert and 12th streets north of Interstate 94, with utility relocation work there expected to start soon after July Fourth. Most of the heavy construction on University Avenue will occur in 2011 between Emerald Street and Hamline Avenue and in 2012 between Hamline and Robert. The work in downtown St. Paul will occur in 2011-2012.

The project is able to begin heavy construction due to advance funding commitments from its partners and federal approval of this arrangement. Under this same arrangement, the project began improvements in May on streets around the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota and utility relocation work last year on Fourth Street in St. Paul. The FTA has agreed to reimburse the project partners for the federal share of this advanced work once it awards a Full Funding Grant Agreement this fall.

Work on the seven-mile St. Paul segment includes:

  • Relocating utilities necessary for the LRT trackway
  • Constructing nearly seven miles of embedded double track
  • Fully reconstructing streets where track is being installed
  • Building 14 stations from Westgate Station to Union Depot Station
  • Modifying two bridges (on University over Highway 280 and on Cedar Street over Interstates 94 and 35E)
  • Installing concrete paving for signalized intersections
  • Building an infiltration trench for collecting storm water
  • Constructing at-grade pedestrian crossings
  • Demolishing the vacant Bremer Bank building and reconnecting the skyway

Steps to help businesses, property owners

The Central Corridor Project Office has taken steps to eliminate or reduce construction-related impediments to businesses and property owners. These steps include:

  • Limiting construction of each segment on University Avenue to two-thirds at a time while maintaining a lane of traffic on the other third.
  • Requiring contractors to restore the street in front of any business within 150 days and the sidewalk within 15 days.
  • Implementing a contractor incentive program to encourage responsiveness, create a partnership between contractors and the community and promote cooperation. Evaluation criteria will include conformance with notification requirements, timely response to public concerns, maintenance of vehicle access and accessible pedestrian routes and cleanliness of construction sites.
  • Issuing weekly emailed construction updates to provide the public with advance notice of routes that are closed and their alternates. To sign up for the emails, click here.
  • Holding public construction meetings for businesses and the public to get updates and a look ahead from project staff and utilities.
  • Setting up a construction hotline and posting the number, 651-602-1404, in prominent locations throughout a work zone.
  • Assigning multilingual outreach coordinators from the community to be liaisons between the project and the public from the engineering phase through construction.
  • Distributing a brochure to businesses on the corridor and nearby residents about how the project will communicate construction information and how it can be reached with questions and concerns.

About the project

The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and the University of Minnesota. Construction will begin in 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, with service beginning in 2014. The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at the new Target Field Station. The Metropolitan Council will be the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight.

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Job Opportunities

Here are a couple of opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses to take part in a pair or large public projects:

Union Depot Renovation

Central Corridor LRT construction

DBE/Small business owners  are invited to meet with the six prime contractors that were pre-qualified to bid on the Central Corridor Light Rail / Civil East construction project between Union Depot in St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis.

The Meet & Greet will be held Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 2 to 5 p.m. at 375 Jackson Street, 2nd floor (Directly across from the Metropolitan Council), Saint Paul, MN 55101 (Map).

RSVP to Lynnette at 651-602-1769 or by email.

One of these six prime contractors present will be selected to construct the first half of the Central Corridor:

  • C.S. McCrossan and Ames Construction (joint venture)
  • Graham Construction Services and Kraus-Anderson (joint venture)
  • Kiewit Western Company
  • PCL Construction Services
  • Walsh Construction
  • Granite Construction Company

This is your opportunity to make an impression and to discuss what your company can bring to the table as a partner and team member. The DBE goal on this project is 15 percent.

Creating Successful Businesses with LRT

University Avenue

University Avenue

Small businesses that can change and adapt to the challenges and opportunities of light rail transit will be more successful than those that can’t. They will survive light rail construction and make more money if they know how to prepare. How do small businesses and entrepreneurs adapt? What are the challenges? How do you prepare and increase your revenue?

Workshops to be held this week will teach small businesses and entrepreneurs how they may benefit from light rail transit. You will learn:

  • What you can do to prepare for LRT construction
  • What you can do to keep revenues up during construction
  • What you can do to bring in new customers when the light rail is running

When: Thursday, March 18, 2010
2:30- 4:30 PM (Vietnamese interpretation available)
6:00-8:00 PM (Hmong interpretation available)

Where: Lao Family Community, 320 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN

Lunch and dinner will be provided. Free and open to the public. For more information call 651-222-7798 or email

The “Creating Successful Businesses with LRT” workshops are led by Mr. Tran T. Nhon, MBA. Mr. Tran is a nationally noted expert on supplier diversity and an advocate for minority owned businesses.  He is chair of the Ramsey County Small Business Enterprises Advisory Board and a board member of the State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.

These workshops are supported by a grant from National CAPACD. AEDA is supported by the B.C. Gamble and P.W. Skogmo Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Twin Cities LISC FRAN Project, and The Saint Paul Foundation.

More information:

Asian Economic Development Association
712 University Ave W Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55104
651-222-7798 | http://www.aeda-mn.org

Celebrate our Victory on LRT stations

Nieeta Presley and Joan Vanhala of the Stops for Us! Coalition

Nieeta Presley and Joan Vanhala of the Stops for Us! Coalition

Please join us for a Stops for Us Victory Celebration and Potluck at 1080 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN on Friday, February 5th at 4pm.

Bring your favorite victory food and beverages to share as we celebrate the inclusion of the three stations at Western, Hamline, and Victoria into the Central Corridor LRT project.

Also feel free to bring your favorite music and a story to share.

Not to be missed! See you there!

In case you missed the news reports, here are details from Joan Vanhala, Coalition Organizer, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability:

The 3 stations at Western, Victoria, and Hamline will be included in the Central Corridor LRT project budget and be built by the completion of the Central Corridor LRT line!!

At a historic press conference at Model Cities with Mayor Chris Coleman, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Congressman Jim Oberstar, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman Keith Ellison, City Councilmember Melvin Carter, Commissioner Toni Carter, and Commissioner Jim McDonough it was announced that all three stations at Western, Victoria and Hamline will be included and built by the completion of the Central Corridor LRT line.

With the changes at the federal level, the federal government will now match the city of St. Paul’s commitment of $5.2 million, which will pay for two stations. The third station’s funding was pieced together with local funds from the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Ramsey County and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative and will be matched by federal funds.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood was quoted as telling the Stops for Us organizers, “You’ve made a difference and we will use you as an example across the country…that if you hang together, have a great project that’s for the people, and work with your delegation, you can make things happen.”

Congratulations to the to the East University Avenue community members, the Stops for Us coalition and supporting partner organizations, and elected officials who worked hard together to make this happen!!

To quote Councilmember Carter’s press release:

This is a HUGE victory, but our work to ensure that this project will serve those of us who chose this community long before light rail, is far from done. I’m glad to know our federal partners understand the importance of this project and its impact on our community, and I look forward to our continued work together to:

  • Mitigate the loss of on-street parking;
  • Help small businesses survive construction; and
  • Ensure that we will build our future here by supporting our diverse set of residents and businesses, not by allowing them to be displaced.

Central Corridor Bid Opportunities

Utility relocation work at Fourth and Robert streets in downtown St. Paul. Photo courtesy of Met Council

Utility relocation work at Fourth and Robert streets in downtown St. Paul. Photo courtesy of Met Council

The Minnesota Transportation Museum at the historic Jackson Street roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Ave. E., St. Paul, will be the setting for a Central Corridor bid opportunity mixer next month. The bid opportunities information exchange will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 9.

The goal is to give interested construction firms a preview of the primary construction contracts that will be let in 2010. Attendees will have a chance to meet with owners of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and discuss potential partnerships.  “We thought that it would be both fun and important to host this event at the museum, which provides a glimpse into our transportation past whilst planning for its future,” said Roderic Southall, lead staff on the Central Corridor project for the Met Council’s Office of Diversity. “The attendees are sure to have an appreciation for the role of construction in making both past and future transportation plans a reality.”

To register, businesses need to contact Jackie Becker by Nov. 1 by email or phone, (651) 602-1940.

U7 hires business advisors

Hiawatha LRT construction photo courtesy of Met Council

Hiawatha LRT construction photo courtesy of Met Council

The University Avenue Business Preparation Collaborative — known as U7 — is working to help existing and new businesses survive the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit construction phase and to improve their businesses after the construction is complete. We plan to offer technical assistance and business development planning in areas such as cash-flow management, advertising, customer retention and more. Plans also include new pools of funds for short-term lending and real-estate acquisition lending. The collaborative includes:

U7 is advised by the city of St. Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Model Cities, University United, the St. Paul Port Authority and UABA. The collaborative has hired two business-retention advisors, Sia Lo and Marilyn Porter, both of whom have extensive experience in the business and nonprofit sectors. To contact the business-retention advisors:

  • Email Sia Lo  or call (651) 789-7486.
  • Email Marilyn Porter or call (651) 230-1020.

Workshop to Focus on LRT Jobs

Construction

In October, the Metropolitan Council and five community organizations will hold a business and employment workshop featuring the Central Corridor LRT Project.

This will be the Met Council’s fifth large community meeting in a year for minority- and women-owned small businesses or job seekers to learn about job opportunities on the biggest public works project in state history. More than 300 people have attended the first four meetings.

The latest session is targeted at African-American business owners and workforce advocates who have an interest in ensuring African-American inclusion in the Central Corridor LRT line’s construction, which will begin in late summer 2010.

The meeting will be held twice on Oct. 14, running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center at 270 N. Kent St. in St. Paul. To register, contact Jackie Becker by email or 651-602-1940 by Oct. 8.

Besides the Met Council, the other sponsors are the Council on Black Minnesotans, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corp., Selby Area Community Development Corp., African Economic Development Solutions and the St. Paul branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The two sessions will highlight what the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is and how firms may become DBE certified, the construction bid packages that will be forthcoming and the range of construction trades that will be used on the project.

“The African-American community has been a staple of the area surrounding the Central Corridor route. As such, it only makes sense that the businesses and workers of that community participate in the construction of the line which will usher in a new phase of development and sense of community for the area,” said Roderic Southall, lead staff on the Central Corridor project for the Met Council’s Office of Diversity. “There are many African American construction-related companies that have already expressed interest in working on the project. They are seeking more information on how and when the construction projects will roll out.”

The Met Council’s Office of Diversity plans to conduct more specialized business and workforce opportunity sessions with various communities in the near future.