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News & Updates for September 2007

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September 27, 2007

Northstar Construction Update - September 26

This week, Northstar is continuing its construction of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Connection in downtown Minneapolis and the Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Big Lake. The following is a summary of this weeks construction activities.

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September 18, 2007

Northstar Construction Update - September 17

Currently, the Northstar Project is constructing the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Connection in downtown Minneapolis and a vehicle maintenance facility in Big Lake. In addition, BNSF Railway is constructing track, signal, and train control improvements along the Northstar Corridor. The following is a summary of upcoming construction activities for the week of September 17.

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Northstar Construction Update - September 10

Downtown Minneapolis Light Rail Transit (LRT) Connection

  • Reconstruction of the south half of the 5th Street North bridge over the BNSF railroad will continue. Construction crews will continue to form, reinforce, and pour concrete for columns, walls, and pilecaps.
  • Crews will be laying asphalt early this week on the new access driveway for the Hennepin County Environmental Services Building (417 5th Street North).
  • 5th Street North lane closure One lane between the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center(HERC) driveway and 6th Avenue North will be closed beginning Monday, September10th. This lane closure will not impact any turn movements.

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September 07, 2007

Big Lake Groundbreaking and NCDA 10 Year Anniversary

ANOKA, Minn. More than 150 local officials and guests attended yesterdays groundbreaking for the construction of another crucial part of the Northstar Commuter Rail Linethe Big Lake vehicle maintenance facility. When completed, the facility will be a center for fueling, cleaning and routine maintenance of Northstar trains once the line begins operations in late 2009.

Big Lake

Past and present Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) officials, elected officials, chamber of commerce executive members, representatives from BNSF Railway, and state and metropolitan transportation officials gathered near the Big Lake site for a brief ceremony.

The groundbreaking for the Big Lake vehicle maintenance facility is an important event for Northstar, said NCDA Commissioner Dan Erhart. With it, we recognize that we have started construction of the buildings and structures necessary for getting Minnesotas first commuter rail line up and running by 2009. The people gathered here have made significant contributions to getting us to this point.

The Big Lake maintenance facility is the second construction project for Northstar started this summer. Work has already begun in downtown Minneapolis for a Northstar station that will link Northstar to Hiawatha Light Rail Transit near the new Minnesota Twins ballpark.

The event was also recognition of the NCDAs 10-year anniversary. The joint powers boardconsisting of 30 local government entities and rail authoritieswas formed in 1997 to improve transportation in the Northstar Corridor between St. Cloud and Minneapolis.

Collaboration among these counties and cities has been crucial. The work of the NCDA has advanced Northstar through the critical state and federal funding process. Thanks to cooperation within the NCDA, we are expecting a federal funding award this fall, which will complete funding for construction of the line, said Erhart.

Northstar Commuter Rail will debut in late 2009 and will link with Hiawatha LRT and other transportation options at a multimodal station in downtown Minneapolis. Nearby, the new Twins ballpark will open the following year.

Sneak peek of the Northstar vehicle maintenance facility in Big Lake

Below are artist renderings of the Northstar vehicle maintenance facility. Ground was broken at the future site of the facility on Thursday, September 6. The facility is a few hundred yards east from the future site of Northstar's Big Lake Station at County Road 43 and U.S. Highway 10.

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