The Met Council voted recently to award two contracts of nearly $17 million each to North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn & Associates and Los Angeles-based AECOM to begin preliminary engineering and design work on the planned Southwest Light Rail line .
AECOM will design the western part of the line, beginning in Eden Prairie and running through Minnetonka. Kimley-Horn will design the eastern half, which includes Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis. The $1.25 billion Southwest light rail project will run between Eden Prairie and Minneapolis and is slated to open in 2018.
Each firm has already begun the work to figure out where to locate stations and other facilities. While the project’s draft environmental impact statement recommended relocating some existing freight rail traffic from Minneapolis to St. Louis Park, a proposal which has angered some residents in St. Louis Park, Met Council officials say this phase of the project means both selected firms will look again at both options with a “clean slate” to see which ones work better or don’t work at all.
Here are the names of the subcontracting firms slated to work on the eastern half of the line:
Progressive Consulting Engineers
TY Lin International
American Engineering Testing
Julie Snow Architects
Miller Dunwiddie Architecture
LHB Architecture and Engineering
And for the western half:
LTK Engineering Services
Hansen Thorp Pellinen Olson
Sowinski Sullivan Architects
Progressive Consulting Engineering
Duan Kinetics Transportation
Utility Mapping Services
A third contract will also be issued for peer review of the project. The Southwest LRT is moving forward but still needs $118 million dollars over the next two years to continue. That’s sure to come up at the Legislature this session, as lawmakers focus attention on transportation and transit funding.