The Central Corridor light-rail project is more than halfway complete, and summer is the time to get the heavy work out of the way and get ahead of the game by the time school comes around. The project, which will connect downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, will revamp the way people navigate the Twin Cities by 2014. Despite the setbacks contractors have faced around campus this past semester — in part due to finals week and other requests issued by the University of Minnesota — the construction is on track to be 75 percent compete by the year’s end.
The 11-mile route has about 3,236 contractors working to make sure the light rail is fully functional by 2014. Local residents living in the Stadium Village neighborhood over the summer will have to put up with the noise and the detours brought upon by construction. The intersection of Harvard Street and Washington Avenue will be closing in early June while utilities are relocated, roadway is rebuilt, and rails are installed.
Most local businesses are putting aside their frustration with construction and focusing on the big picture. The light rail will make businesses along Washington and University avenues more accessible, and customer foot traffic is expected to increase. It’s clear there’s no turning back now, and business owners would like to see the rail be completed as quickly as possible. There’s no denying the light rail is coming, thus there should be a more realistic view on the process. Antagonism toward the construction only harms communication rather than making it easier for those making the noise and those who have to put up with it.
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