With full project funding secured, the Metropolitan Council will advertise METRO Orange Line’s Knox Avenue Transitway construction package to general contractors this month. The Council anticipates awarding the contract this spring.
The selected contractor will construct a new transitway tunnel beneath I-494 to connect Knox Avenue in Richfield and Bloomington, creating a fast, reliable connection for METRO Orange Line. Along with transit-only lanes, it will include a multi-use trail for pedestrians and bicyclists. The transitway will streamline Orange Line service, resulting in a trip that is 45-55% faster than the current conditions on the Route 535 in this area. View more images of the transitway on the Orange Line website.
Construction along Knox Avenue will span from just south of 76th Street near Best Buy Headquarters in Richfield to Knox Avenue & American Boulevard near Southtown Shopping Center in Bloomington. Building the transitway will entail excavation, utility work, and construction of the road, sidewalks, driveway access and retaining walls. The work is anticipated to begin in the summer 2019 and continue for two and a half years.
The Knox Avenue package is one of three construction contracts to build Orange Line infrastructure. ALS, the joint venture of Ames Construction, Lunda Construction Company and Shafer Contracting, began building components of the Orange Line in Minneapolis through the 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown project in 2017. A third contract, to construct Orange Line stations, will be advertised in the future.