By: Contech Engineered Solutions
The new Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line known as the METRO Green Line Extension is a new rail transit that will serve downtown Minneapolis. This line includes 16 new stations and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, and many bus routes. This is a long-anticipated improvement as it brings the area one step closer to connecting the surrounding communities of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Minneapolis to new opportunities.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit is a 14.5-mile line with 16 stations. Through 2019, the corridor has seen approximately $1.6 billion in development including affordable housing and commercial development. The Southwest Light Rail Transit project is the state’s largest transportation project in history and includes LRT, regional trails, roadway connections, and freight rail improvements. The new line is nearing completion with 11 of the 16 stations under construction or nearly completed. Southwest LRT is just one part of the METRO transit system. When complete, Southwest LRT will offer riders a one-seat trip from Eden Prairie to downtown Saint Paul and connect with numerous bus lines along the way.
Several new rail bridges were constructed as part of this expansion, which by default of the rail line running along it, required ballast instead of pavement. To handle surface runoff effectively, the engineer of record, AECOM, included the use of Contech® Deck Drain to collect and transport water off the bridge. Deck Drain is a standard 8-inch half-round perforated 2 2/3” x ½” Corrugated Steel Pipe (CSP) with a steel bottom pan used in the construction of railroad bridges. Its purpose is to drain the rock ballast area under the rail tracks. In some areas where larger quantities of surface runoff were anticipated, a custom 12-inch Deck Drain was used. To accommodate the new transit line, 3,640 LF of Contech Deck Drain was incorporated into the new bridge deck areas of the transit line.