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Twin Cities to open new light rail station Dec. 12

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A new station on the Hiawatha light-rail line in he Twin Cities is scheduled to open Dec. 12. Located on 34th Avenue just south of I-494/Hwy 5, American Boulevard Station will serve as the transportation anchor for a future transit-oriented development initiative in the City of Bloomington's Airport South District.

Officials from the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County and the City
of Bloomington, Minn., commissioned the station in a brief ceremony
saluting the construction workers who built the facility. A reception
for the workers followed at the nearby Holiday Inn hotel.

"American
Boulevard Station is an important and visible component in
Bloomington’s vision to transform this area into a sustainable, urban
environment with a mix of residential, commercial and retail uses that
capitalize on our unique assets – converging transit routes, the
Minnesota Valley national wildlife refuge, Mall of America and
proximity to the airport," said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead.
"Because we are focusing over the next decade on the economic,
environmental, cultural and social aspects of development, the Airport
South District will be viewed as a great place to live, work and play."

Construction
of the $2.4-million American Boulevard Station began in June 2009 and
was financed through a combination of sources from the Bloomington Port
Authority, Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority, Metropolitan
Council and federal grants. It is the first Hiawatha station to feature
a split-platform design with trains headed to Minneapolis stopping
north of American Boulevard and Mall-bound trains stopping south of the
intersection.

"We commend the City of Bloomington for
integrating public transportation into its development framework," said
Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. "This is the fourth
light-rail station in the city. It hosts a major transit hub at Mall of
America and it is a key supporter of the Cedar Avenue transitway."

American
Boulevard Station was built by crews from Sheehy Construction Company
of St. Paul and its subcontractors. Sheehy also is the lead contractor
on the project that is lengthening Hiawatha station platforms to
accommodate the future use of three-car trains.

The Hiawatha
Line is operated by Metro Transit, a service of the Metropolitan
Council. Customers boarded Hiawatha trains 10.2 million times last year.

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