Crews Work To Fix SWLRT Track That Was Laid Too Close To Existing Track

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
image description
Photo: metrocouncil.org

MINNEAPOLIS – After track for the SWLRT was laid too close to an existing freight rail, crews had to go in and fix the section of track.

According to a report from 5 INVESTIGATES, A nearby resident noticed the newly-laid track appeared to be too close to the existing track. Metro Transit officials stated the closest the tracks could be to one another is 25 feet to allow for a “protection barrier.” However, nearby residents measured the distance themselves, and it came out to 24 feet. 

Met Council stated that after crews went out to fix the issue, the “final measurements show that the light rail and freight tracks were moved to be 25 feet and a quarter-inch apart at the closest part.”

This past March, project director for the Green Line Extension, Jim Alexander, “acknowledged the [track was] initially laid too close, but there was a discrepancy over how much they needed to be shifted.” The project director’s measurements showed a distance seven inches short of 25 feet.

The resident who first noticed the too-close distance submitted a formal data request to the Met Council, “asking Metro Transit to show its work,” but as of reporting, an explanation has not been offered. The project has been plagued by delays and a lawsuit as RT&S has reported over the last year.

In response to the concerns raised by residents, the Met Council stated:

““The safety of those living along the corridor is always the top priority when developing any transit project.  While the track between South Upton and Thomas Avenues on West 21st Street in Minneapolis had not been fully completed and turned over to the Met Council, we understand the concerns of those living in the area and worked quickly to make the adjustment to match the original design.

The work to shift the freight track will ensure there is at least 25 feet of clearance between the centerline of freight and the centerline of the closest (westbound) LRT track.

Tags: , , , , ,

Media