Tag Archives: Kenilworth Corridor

My latest Kenilworth Corridor photos

Anti freight co location sign along Kenilworth trail Mpls 9 8 2013
I found this sign posted along the Kenilworth Trail’s pedestrian path less than a block north of the 21st Street grade crossing. It had company to the south…
Anti freight rail banner on north side of Burnham Rd bridge Mpls 9 8 2013
…in the form of this banner…
Anti freight rail banner on south side of Burnham Rd bridge Mpls 9 8 2013
…and this banner. The banners were adorning the north and south sides of the Burnham Road bridge. This span crosses the Kenilworth Corridor south of 21st Street. This and the preceding two photos taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.
Looking up Kenilworth corridor towards 21st Street Mpls 9 8 2013
A view north along the Kenilworth Corridor. 21st Street is faintly visible in the distance. Railroad tracks once were as thick here as noodles in a soup with the Minneapolis & St. Louis had a yard here. By the early1980s, however, M. &. St. L. successor Chicago and North Western ceased to have any use for this yard and so pulled up all but the main track to the left. The Kenilworth Trail is now flanked by the track to the left and the experiment in prairie restoration to the right. Theoretically freight rail, light rail, and the Kenilworth Trail could be accommodated here. The loss of the prairie restoration experiment would probably generate some howls, however. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9 8 2013.
Pro LRT tunnel and anti freight rail signs at Burnham Rd and Park Pl Mpls 9 8 2013
Pro-LRT tunnel signs proliferate on Burnham Road southwest of the bridge over the Kenilworth Corridor. At the intersection of Park Place and Burnham, pro-LRT tunnel and anti-freight rail/light rail co-location signs engage in a Mexican standoff. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.
My engineer cap on anti freight rail sign along Kenilworth trail Mpls 9 8 2013
The imp in me could not resist placing my 1998-vintage engineer cap on the anti-freight rail/light rail co-location sign I came across less than a block north of 21st Street. This picture is my way of saying “Keep freight rail here!” Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.
TCW US DOT plate on crossbuck on south side of 21s st crossing Mpls 9 8 2013
Interesting to note is this U.S. Department of Transportation plate bearing the initials “TCWR.” This is affixed to the crossbuck on the south side of the 21st Street grade crossing along the old Tootin’ Louie line by Cedar Lake. Photo taken by Tony Held on 9-8-2013.

More Kenilworth corridor, more contention

LRT protest on K corridor view one Mpls 8 11 2013
I had learned of stickers being left along the Kenilworth Corridor in Minneapolis, MN, protesting co-locating freight and light rail in the line. When I visited the Cedar Lake Parkway grade crossing recently, protest signs met my eyes left and right like bad guys in an Expendables movie…and half protested the loss of the trail along with the half that slammed co-location.   These anti-co location leaflets were affixed to the back of a “road closed” sign posted on the north side of the grade crossing…
LRT protest on K corridor view six Mpls 8 11 2013
…these were stuck on a signal power box on the north side of the crossing…
LRT protest on K corridor view five  Mpls 8 11 2013
…along with one more and an anti-LRT one.
LRT protest on K corridor view three Mpls 8 11 2013
Another anti-LRT leaflet…
LRT protest on K corridor view four Mpls 8 11 2013
…decorated a trail-related device on the north side of the Cedar Lake Parkway crossing.
LRT protest on K corridor view seven Mpls 8 11 2013
This signal box on the south side of the crossing was festooned with both anti-co-location, and anti-LRT leaflets. Some ripped off, while others remained fresh.
LRT protest on K corridor view two Mpls 8 11 2013
This ripped-up anti-co-location sign was affixed to the same “road closed” sign pictured above. It could be found beneath the fresh ones. All photos taken by Tony Held on August 11, 2013.

Kenilworth Corridor: The LRT tunnel option

Southbound LRT leaving Ft Snelling station 12 4 2011
A southbound Route 55 LRT leaves the Fort Snelling station behind as it heads for the tunnel beneath Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Photo taken by Tony Held on December 4, 2011.

A tunnel along the Kenilworth Corridor portion of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line could solve the problem of co-locating Twin Cities and Western freight and Metro Transit light rail in the corridor as well as keep the Kenilworth Trail in place.   A group named the Kenilworth Preservation Group advocates one as well, such as in this white paper.

The city of Minneapolis is dead set against it, however.

“I don’t want anybody who is not in these deep conversations to think it’s really practical to do a deep tunnel there. If we could, in this area, afford deep tunnels, there would be one in downtown Minneapolis.”  Minneapolis Transportation and Public Works Committee chair Sandy Colvin Roy claims in this Southwest Journal article.  Roy’s claim conveniently ignores the tunnel on the Green (formerly Hiawatha) Line which passes underneath Lindbergh Terminal at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

Southbound LRT arriving at Lindbergh Term station 12 27 2012
A southbound Route 55 train on the Green –aka Hiawatha– Line arrives at Lindbergh Station deep beneath Lindbergh Terminal at Minneapolis/St. Paul International. Photo taken on December 27, 2012, by Tony Held.

 

“People really should not get their hearts set on the deep tunnel because we have no idea how much cost it would carry with it. We have no idea how extensive the impact to neighboring communities might be. A lot more work would need to be done before we’d be in a position to take that seriously.”  Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak’s policy director Peter Wagenius claimed to the Southwest Journal.  Wagenius’ remarks about having no idea what the impact to the “neighboring communities” a tunnel would have flies directly into the face of support for a tunnel demonstrated by the likes of the Kenilworth Preservation Group.  “We are proposing to those in charge to consider TUNNELING as not only a viable option but as a solution to preserve this natural resource.” The KPG states on their website.  It would behoove Mr. Wagenius to contact this group and get some facts.  In fact, Wagenius claimed to the Star Tribune in this article that: “We’re willing to look at tunnel options to keep the project going,” though he added the that Mayor Rybak was tepid to the idea.

This same Star Tribune article reports that a deep tunnel would cost $420 million, while a shallow tunnel would cost $250 million.

It is my opinion that a deep tunnel would be the best option.  It could start near Cedar Lake, and end after passing under the Twin Cities & Western in the vicinity of Bass Lake in St. Louis Park.   The proposed 21st Street LRT station could be converted into a subway-style one like at Lindbergh Terminal, too.

I believe it would behoove Minneapolis and the Met Council to support a deep tunnel along the Southwest LRT.  It would allow the TC&W to remain where it is, keep the Kenilworth Trail intact, and end this long, drawn-out debate raging over transit issues along the Kenilworth Corridor.

Wake up and support a tunnel for the Southwest LRT line, Met Council and the City of Minneapolis!