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St. Louis Park Site Among Southwest LRT Maintenance Facility Finalists

The Excelsior Boulevard location is one of seven sites the Met Council is moving forward with for a potential Operation and Maintenance Facility, according to Community Development Director Kevin Locke.

UPDATE: The Met Council recently released the full list of candidate sites, which is larger than initially reported.

Those sites are:

  • City Garage West: Technology Drive and Wallace Road in Eden Prairie
  • City Garage East: 15150 Technology Drive in Eden Prairie
  • Mitchell East: Technology Drive and Mitchell Road in Eden Prairie
  • Shady Oak/West 70th Street: Shady Oak Road and Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie
  • K-Tel: Shady Oak Road and K-Tel Drive in Minnetonka
  • K-Tel East: Fifth Street South and 15th Avenue South in Hopkins
  • 11th Avenue West: Fifth Street South and 11th Avenue South in Hopkins
  • Excelsior West: 8098 Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins
  • Excelsior East: Excelsior Boulevard and Powell Road at the border of Hopkins and St. Louis Park

ORIGINAL STORY

One St. Louis Park site is among the list of seven finalists for the Southwest LRT Operation and Maintenance Facility (OMF), according to a St. Louis Park official.

During a study session on Monday, April 22, St. Louis Park City Council members received an update on the Southwest LRT project from Community Development Director Kevin Locke. Locke reported the Met Council had narrowed its initial list of 18 sites to seven, including one St. Louis Park location.

The site is located right on the border of Hopkins and St. Louis Park, sandwiched between Excelsior Boulevard and Cedar Lake Trail. It measures approximately 15 acres and currently houses multi-tenant office buildings.

Locke said the short list also includes several locations in Eden Prairie, one in Hopkins and one near the Minnetonka/Hopkins border. He said it would not be a surprise to see one of the sites outside of St. Louis Park selected as the eventual OMF location, as city officials have indicated they don't necessarily want the facility in St. Louis Park.

"We frankly have told them if you've got a site the local community supports, that would seem like a really smart one to pursue," Locke said.

The OMF locations will go before the Corridor Management Committee in May, with open houses on the topic planned in the various communities. Met Council officials previously stated they plan to identify the final OMF site in either June or July.

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Matt April 24, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Putting the maintenance facility somewhere in the middle section of the line actually makes a lot of sense. That way you aren't running empty trains from either end to get things started in the morning. This hasn't been said publicly, but I could see the case being that there is less demand for late-night service out beyond Hopkins/Shady Oak Station. Late at night and very early in the morning, trains could just run between Shady Oak/Hopkins and downtown. It could also be that the inner segment of the line will demand greater frequencies than the Minnetonka/Eden Prairie segment...yet another reason to locate the facility in SLP or Hopkins. Labor is the #1 cost of a transit agency, so anything you can do to cut down on the number of hours running out-of-service trains around helps.
Rolf Peterson April 24, 2013 at 09:18 PM
If the Central Corridor and Southwest lines together are going to provide a one seat ride from Eden Prairie to St. Paul, why do we need more than one OMF on the line?
Matt April 25, 2013 at 01:25 AM
The OMF also serves as a garage since we keep trains/buses indoors in MN. You couldn't fit them all in the existing Franklin Ave (MPLS) and Lowertown (STP) facilities once Southwest is online. Plus you'd have to run a few empty trains from St. Paul ALL the way out to Eden Prairie to get started in the morning. Hopefully we won't have to build another one for Bottineau as well...another reason to build this one closer to MPLS than way out on the Eden Prairie end.

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