Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
St. Studebaker
Block E
Posts: 5
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 12:46 pm

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby St. Studebaker » October 13th, 2014, 2:30 pm

Is there a second deck actually in the plans, or is this just brainstorming/wishful thinking?

mulad
Moderator
Posts: 2736
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
Location: Saint Paul
Contact:

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby mulad » October 13th, 2014, 2:39 pm

Not on the bridge itself, though I think an added upper deck could easily align with the top of the "tunnel"/land bridge at the southwest end.

MnDOT's traffic mapping application currently lists the bridge at 56,000 AADT, which would be very high for a 2-lane road -- at the edge of being possible in a "super-two" configuration because of the on/off ramps, I suppose, but still pretty tricky. I'm not sure that widening the bridge to allow for LRT tracks would be significantly worse cost-wise than replacing existing lanes.

Does anyone know the cost of updating the Washington Avenue Bridge for the Green Line? This bridge is almost exactly the same length, so one would expect similar costs, though I could envision a number of different ways of configuring things -- add a new rail deck above the roadway, widen the existing deck to accommodate LRT tracks, or even suspend the tracks below the existing deck somehow (in the latter case, I've thought about having the tracks turn at the southwestern end to use the old Milwaukee Road railbed along the bluff edge for a short distance to get closer to the existing Fort Snelling station and avoid tunneling, but that might be more trouble than it's worth).

acs
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1372
Joined: March 26th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby acs » October 13th, 2014, 2:48 pm

I think there's a very good reason why the study area includes the Ford plant and the related rail spur. If this is going to be LRT then it's going over the river on the Ford Parkway bridge with a stop at the former plant to fulfill St. Paul's TOD fetishes. As much as we'd like to fantasize the fort road bridge is just too old and too narrow to make all but the most expensive options possible.

On a side note, what are the chances this corridor has the ridership to warrant LRT over buses? At a high level this certainly is a more "urban" corridor than the 4 in front of it in line. With the blue line carrying 30k per day based mostly on commuters, it certainly seems likely that a similar service from the Bloomington park and rides to DT St. Paul could capture at least the 20k needed for LRT.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7439
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby mattaudio » October 13th, 2014, 2:52 pm

Except for the upper deck, the Fort Road bridge looks to be similar vintage and design as the Washington Ave Bridge that carries the green line. A 60s-era girder bridge without structural redundancy. The added supports on the piers helped the University bridge (it's no longer an M) and I'm guessing the same thing could be done with the Fort Road Bridge to upgrade it.

The Ford Parkway bridge was just redecked from the arches up, so I'd be surprised that is chosen for LRT anytinme soon.

mulad
Moderator
Posts: 2736
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
Location: Saint Paul
Contact:

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby mulad » October 13th, 2014, 2:56 pm

The Ford Parkway bridge had streetcars going over it back in the day, but I'm doubtful that the rebuilt bridge has the same level of support any longer (and light-rail trains, especially of the multi-car variety, would probably still be a lot heavier than what the bridge had ever been designed for).

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 5903
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby twincitizen » October 13th, 2014, 3:15 pm

acs wrote:I think there's a very good reason why the study area includes the Ford plant and the related rail spur. If this is going to be LRT then it's going over the river on the Ford Parkway bridge with a stop at the former plant to fulfill St. Paul's TOD fetishes. As much as we'd like to fantasize the fort road bridge is just too old and too narrow to make all but the most expensive options possible.

On a side note, what are the chances this corridor has the ridership to warrant LRT over buses? At a high level this certainly is a more "urban" corridor than the 4 in front of it in line. With the blue line carrying 30k per day based mostly on commuters, it certainly seems likely that a similar service from the Bloomington park and rides to DT St. Paul could capture at least the 20k needed for LRT.
The idea that Riverview LRT would go through the Ford property (and over the Ford Parkway bridge?) and not to the airport/MOA is...odd. (Not saying it could never happen, I've just never heard that before). This has always been about "completing the triangle", has it not? If there are already concerns about ridership, I think you can forget about a $1 Billion LRT line that doesn't go directly to the airport/MOA. (CTIB recently threw out the $1B figure, though that's a rough, rough estimate. We'll know a lot more in 2015.)

I think it's going to be decades until the Ford site is built out completely. It's still not even clear which portions of the site are suitable for residential development. And honestly, the opportunity to build out a brand new, in-city neighborhood, in a nice part of town with decent schools (right?) is going to be enough of a draw on its own. I don't think the Ford site needs rail transit traversing through it to attract developers and home buyers. The proximity to transit is going to be pretty great already, with the A-Line connecting to both the Blue Line and Green Line, not to mention Riverview/W 7th a short distance to the south.

There could certainly be a short line shuttle service through the Ford property to connect with Riverview, but I just can't fathom that being the "mainline" operation. Remember, the A Line will be serving Ford Parkway, connecting folks over the river to the Blue Line (along with several local routes).

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1519
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 10:41 am

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby talindsay » October 13th, 2014, 3:41 pm

I think the assumption behind the Ford site discussion is that it would cross the Ford Bridge and connect in to the existing Hiawatha tracks somewhere south of 46th. This routing has several advantages, most notably reducing the total trackage needed (maximizing reuse of existing track on Hiawatha), plenty of space on the Ford bridge, and relatively easy and cheap routing through the Ford site. It has major drawbacks too though, including a very difficult interchange with Hiawatha. The Ford routing probably hits more higher-density nodes than the Fort Road routing, though that's just a gut feeling and not backed by data.

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1519
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 10:41 am

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby talindsay » October 13th, 2014, 4:44 pm

Okay, sketched it out on Google My Maps, and it looks like a Fort Road route is just over seven miles of new track while a Ford Parkway - Ford Spur route is a little over eight. The Ford idea would make the total airport trip about two miles longer than the Fort Road route, but would probably be cheaper to build (since it wouldn't involve all the bridge and elevation work), and would definitely reach more neighborhoods. To compare my ideas:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... GKZ_ru_9rY

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1220
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby mister.shoes » October 13th, 2014, 6:14 pm

That intersection with the Blue Line at 46th/Hiawatha looks awfully hairy. We should probably tunnel under Minnehaha Falls Park and connect farther south.

/s
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1519
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 10:41 am

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby talindsay » October 13th, 2014, 9:21 pm

mister.shoes wrote:That intersection with the Blue Line at 46th/Hiawatha looks awfully hairy. We should probably tunnel under Minnehaha Falls Park and connect farther south.

/s
Man, I know - it's going to be a mess. But i can't imagine this line having high enough ridership to justify any grade separation there, as much as it needs it. And I can't really come up with a better way to do the junction. At first i was thinking of somehow using the land bridge to accomplish a flyover but I'm sure that wouldn't fly politically. And anything at grade south of 46th would have a huge impact on 55. Maybe there is money for a new short tunnel segment but i doubt it.

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1220
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby mister.shoes » October 13th, 2014, 10:00 pm

Honest reply: I haven't a clue how it would work either. That land bridge is definitely off-limits and I can't see any rail being tolerated inside the park limits itself, though it sure would be neat to see trains running past (and stopping at a new platform by) the historic depot. I can't see a good place to cross Hiawatha without royally pissing off MNDot, who'd love nothing less than a nice full freeway.

/sarcastic reply: More park tunnels! Go under the creek while we're at it!
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

nate
Landmark Center
Posts: 287
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 2:01 pm

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby nate » October 14th, 2014, 7:14 am

In my seat of the pants internet opinion, it seems like a Ford site routing would be a much more valuable regional connection versus heading over the Highway 5 bridge.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3118
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 14th, 2014, 7:45 am

For me it's connect to the MOA or don't do it at all.

nate
Landmark Center
Posts: 287
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 2:01 pm

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby nate » October 14th, 2014, 7:50 am

I think that the assumption is it connects with the MOA no matter which route it takes over the river. The question is if it connects to the Blue Line somewhere around Fort Snelling station, or at 46th or 50th Station.

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3256
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby Silophant » October 14th, 2014, 8:21 am

Yeah, they're for sure using the existing airport stations, and once they've gone that far, there's no reason not to continue to MOA.

User avatar
FISHMANPET
IDS Center
Posts: 4548
Joined: June 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm
Location: Corcoran

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby FISHMANPET » October 14th, 2014, 8:24 am

Would you force a transfer at 46th, or interline down to the Mall? With all those park and rides you have to think you'd gain some ridership in the rush hours going into Downtown St Paul. Maybe interline during peak periods and force a transfer at off peak?
Peter Bajurny
peter@bajurny.us
@FISHMANPET
612-208-6618

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7439
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby mattaudio » October 14th, 2014, 8:38 am

I think in the hypothetical scenario of a crossing at 46th/Ford Pkwy, which is definitely not likely, some people including myself and RailBaronYarr have proposed a hypothetical interline from 46th to Lake Street, then continuing west to West Lake. This would provide a service with a single seat ride from Uptown and much of South Mpls to Downtown St. Paul.

But the first order of business should be improving service between the airport and Downtown St. Paul. Why? Because Mayo Clinic is pressing for a MSP Airport terminus for ZipRail, rather than SPUD (or Mpls for that matter), meaning that we'd possibly see the building of a third central passenger rail system in our metro. This would further diffuse future service, resulting in bad rail to rail transfers and bad network synergy.

The revival of Riverview LRT may very well be a hedge to try and protect the investment in SPUD.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5375
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby MNdible » October 14th, 2014, 8:43 am

I think forcing a transfer at 46th wouldn't be the end of the world (because I suspect Riverview would carry more people wanting to get into downtown Minneapolis than to MSP/MOA).

That said, it does appear that a flyover bridge to interlined track heading southbound could be done fairly painlessly -- the trick will be to accommodate the transfer at 46th Street.

User avatar
FISHMANPET
IDS Center
Posts: 4548
Joined: June 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm
Location: Corcoran

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby FISHMANPET » October 14th, 2014, 8:52 am

Running from Midtown to St Paul single seat or at least 2 seat (Midtown to Lake, Blue to 46th, Riverview to St Paul would be a 3 seat ride, and I think thats too much for our small metro), but I have a hunch that maybe we're over-represented in the Live in Uptown, work in St Paul demographic :)
Peter Bajurny
peter@bajurny.us
@FISHMANPET
612-208-6618

froggie
Rice Park
Posts: 419
Joined: March 7th, 2014, 6:52 pm

Re: Riverview Corridor

Postby froggie » October 14th, 2014, 8:59 am

I've seen OFFICIAL fetish maps that show a direct connection of the bridge to Shepard Road by way of the vacant Unisys/USBank Riverview site.
I'd like to see these maps sometime.
MnDOT's traffic mapping application currently lists the bridge at 56,000 AADT, which would be very high for a 2-lane road -- at the edge of being possible in a "super-two" configuration because of the on/off ramps, I suppose, but still pretty tricky.
56K is well over the capacity of a 2-lane, even a Super-2 (which typically maxes out in the low 30s). The relatively short distance between the ramps at Shepard and at 55 plus the high volumes on both sets of ramps would further dilute the capacity.

Another way to look at the Fort Rd Bridge as a 2-lane would be to envision Hwy 12 around Long Lake with over double the traffic and with Crosstown-style ramp spacing. I just don't see it as an option.


As for using the Ford Bridge, I don't really see a viable way to cross Hiawatha there either.


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests