Minneapolis LRT Facing Delays, Cost Increases

Construction on the Kenilworth Tunnel has been plagued by problems and threatens the foundation of a nearby condo complex.

July 28, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Southwest LRT

Metropolitan Council / METRO Green Line Extension project

A half-mile tunnel that "will carry the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT project through a pinch point in its 15-mile path from downtown to Eden Prairie" is mired in "[c]omplexities with water, underground debris, and construction methods seem poised to push the line’s opening deep into 2025 or 2026," writes Adam Platt. "The Kenilworth Tunnel, long the open wound among neighborhood and environmental activists, has been plagued by what [activists] deem as foreseen challenges—which have forced construction crews to adopt complex and time-consuming fixes to maintain its structural integrity." As Platt writes, "[n]o line would have been free of lawsuits and strife, but it is hard to imagine how a surface route at grade through the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market to Hennepin Avenue to the Midtown Greenway connection with the existing right of way would have been any more difficult." The project, currently slated to cost $2 billion, "continues to book change orders and eat away at contingency funds," having already exhausted the primary $203 million contingency fund. 

Hennepin County Commissioner Debbie Goettel, while sympathetic to the concerns of community members, says that, ultimately, "stopping remains an absurd prospect, noting that hundreds of millions of dollars of spent federal funds would need to be returned to the U.S. Treasury, not to mention leaving dozens of partially built bridges and other structures scattered across the southwest metro."

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 in Minneapolis Post


What We Really Mean When We Say Gentrification

The focus on gentrifying communities has, in many cases, eclipsed the similar problems facing more stagnant neighborhoods.

September 14, 2021 - Vox

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Rendering of aerial view of Telosa city

Why Tech-Utopian City Plans Fail

Like others before him, e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore wants to build the ideal city from scratch. Urban experts don't have much faith in his chances.

September 9, 2021 - Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.