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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Graham Construction begins Central Corridor Light Rail Transit project

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Graham Construction Services, Inc., is working on several transit projects that will transform Minnesota's commuter landscape. These include Graham's activities on the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) Advanced Traffic Improvements project and on the 4th Street Advanced Utility Construction project. In addition, the company has completed the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line extension to Target Field.

In May, Graham began work on the recently-awarded CCLRT Advanced Traffic Improvements project. This early-stage portion of the Metropolitan Council project is valued at $4 million and encompasses the East Bank area of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.

Graham will prepare the roadways that will carry additional traffic during the CCLRT construction. The company's involvement also will include underground utilities, traffic control equipment and interconnections, bituminous roadway pavement, curb and gutter work, demolition and rebuilding of retaining walls, earthwork and landscaping.

This phase of the project is expected to be completed in August 2010. Service on the 11-mile Central Corridor is anticipated to begin in 2014. When it opens, the CCLRT project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University Avenues via the state Capitol and University of Minnesota. 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 is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. The project's leaders estimated 800 direct construction and management jobs will be provided annually during the CCLRT construction.

Graham is providing construction services for another of the Metropolitan Council's CCLRT projects. As part of the 4th Street Advanced Utility Construction project team, Graham is helping relocate underground utilities -- such as sanitary and storm sewer, hot and chilled water lines, and water main -- from beneath the footprint of a new CCLRT track in downtown St. Paul. Graham also is preparing the project's foundation for the rail's overhead catenary system.

Work on the project began in September 2009 and is scheduled for completion in November 2010. Bolander Construction is the general contractor for the project and is responsible for the full, finished project and for managing a total, estimated budget of $12.5 million.

Among Graham's transit project experience, the company recently completed the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit extension. With a contract value of $29 million, this project connects the LRT with the new Northstar Corridor commuter rail line

Graham's efforts included the construction of the new Downtown Intermodal Commuter Rail Station, construction of six steel and glass station buildings located along the rail line and a 6,300-linear-foot track system. One of the platform stations now serves the new Minnesota Twins Ballpark, Target Field.

As general contractor on the project, Graham's work also included reconstructing two bridges to support the LRT: The 5th Street bridges over I-394 and the BNSF railroad bridge, which were completed without vehicular or rail traffic interruption. The demolition and reconstruction work was accomplished while maintaining traffic on I-394 and without interruption to BNSF rail traffic.

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