Construction started on Ramsey Northstar Station with a ceremonial groundbreaking event March 27 at the site near Ramsey City Hall, 7550 Sunwood Dr., NW, Ramsey.
Dignitaries who had waited ten years for this moment eagerly threw dirt with gold shovels. The PACT Charter High School Choir sang the national anthem and an African song, Mohlang, about a traveling train.
The construction schedule calls for completion and service startup around Nov. 16, 2012, the third anniversary of opening day for Minnesota’s first commuter rail line.
Timing on construction is creating significant cost savings, according to Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look, chair of the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority.
“Taxpayers are realizing significant savings because we’re able to move ahead in the current marketplace,” Commissioner Look said. “The winning construction bid came in nearly $600,000 under the estimated price.”
Sheehy Construction provided the most competitive offer out of eight companies. They submitted a bid of $6,583,300 to construct the station platform, the pedestrian bridge over the BNSF Railway tracks and the skyway connection to the municipal parking ramp.
Construction is being paid for with a combination of funds from the City of Ramsey, Anoka County, the Counties Transit Improvement Board, the State of Minnesota, and the Met Council.
Follow construction progress on Twitter @NorthstarRamsey.
Full Speed Ahead in The COR
The construction of the Ramsey Station brings new development opportunities to the City of Ramsey, according to Mayor Bob Ramsey. For example, the Residence at the COR, a 230 unit market rate apartment project, is getting under construction in April.
“The Residence at the COR will provide new housing opportunities in the city and build ridership for Northstar,” Mayor Ramsey said. “We are optimistic about the impact the Ramsey Station will have on our community by providing new transit services to our residents and opening the door for additional development.”
The new Ramsey Station is expected to average 200 rides per weekday, adding 51,000 weekday rides per year to the commuter rail system. Most of those rides will be people commuting to work on the train instead of in their cars on the congested highways in the Northstar Corridor, which runs between Minneapolis and St. Cloud.
The Ramsey Station will join six others on the line, Big Lake, Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Fridley, and Target Field in Minneapolis. Service is confined primarily to rush hours Monday-Friday, with limited trips on weekends and for special events, like all Twins home games. For more information on current train service, go to www.metrotransit.org/northstar or call 612-373-3333.
Until the train stops in Ramsey, bus service is available at the station during rush hours, Monday through Friday with the Ramsey Star Express, and midday on Fridays with the Northstar Link Commuter Bus. Information on buses, and Northstar Ramsey Station fares and schedules when available, can be found on Facebook/Northstar Corridor, and on the city Web site, www.cityoframsey.com.