Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
dragne_SDI
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby dragne_SDI » July 10th, 2015, 8:25 pm

PigsEye wrote:What is the most recent timeline for construction? Has it been delayed much? Could we see the blue line construction start before the green line extension is completed?
Last I heard (which was last week), Bottineau is still planned to open during late 2021. The goal is for the construction on both projects to occur almost simultaneously (though slightly offset) if Bottineau doesn't encounter any more delays, however there is concern that both projects would also conflict with the Gateway project, effectively exhausting materials and labor needed to complete all three projects, and most likely causing a delay in one of the projects (hopefully Gateway?). It is unrealistic to go through with three major transit projects in the same metro in the same 3 years.

In essence, every project is still sticking with its previously announced schedule (except SWLRT), though they may encounter problems because of it.

PigsEye

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby PigsEye » July 10th, 2015, 8:33 pm

Sweet! Thanks for the update. It would be nice to see both going up around the same time. Though I thought the Orange line was next in line not the Gold (gateway) line?

I'm assuming the funding process for the blue line has not been finalized? Plus if the estimates end up higher we might start to see even more delays? Is it safe to be that optimistic we will see all four lines in operation within 10 years if not 8?

froggie
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby froggie » July 10th, 2015, 8:49 pm

It is unrealistic to go through with three major transit projects in the same metro in the same 3 years.
I would say UNLIKELY, but not unrealistic. Denver currently has 5 major transit projects (3 commuter rail, 1 LRT, 1 BRT) under construction. So to say it's unrealistic is incorrect given that it's actually occurring right now in one US metro area.

Minnesota politics being what it is, plus the funding situation, is why I would say it's unlikely.

dragne_SDI
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby dragne_SDI » July 10th, 2015, 10:41 pm

froggie wrote:
It is unrealistic to go through with three major transit projects in the same metro in the same 3 years.
I would say UNLIKELY, but not unrealistic. Denver currently has 5 major transit projects (3 commuter rail, 1 LRT, 1 BRT) under construction. So to say it's unrealistic is incorrect given that it's actually occurring right now in one US metro area.

Minnesota politics being what it is, plus the funding situation, is why I would say it's unlikely.
Perhaps I wasn't choosing my words carefully enough. The political and financial aspects of the three projects contributed to my calling the situation "unrealistic," however I suppose "unlikely" may be the better way of putting it.


sean
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby sean » July 28th, 2015, 12:44 pm

Does anyone with familiarity in how infrastructure project management works know why municipal consent is scheduled at only 15% of design?

Why not have a complete picture presented to cities along the route. Everyone can go into the consent process with their eyes open.

The Met Council has moved consent up from Fall 2016 to Spring 2016, but why not wait for more engineering and budgeting to be done?

MNdible
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » July 28th, 2015, 1:14 pm

Probably because engineering is expensive, so if a project isn't going to get approved (or if it will require major changes to get approved), best to find out sooner rather than later.

Silophant
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » July 28th, 2015, 1:28 pm

What if the project doesn't receive municipal consent? Then you've wasted all that engineering time and money.

Not the exact same thing, but I work in the private infrastructure field, and we follow a similar process. We create an initial estimate, doing just the basic engineering work, maybe 2-3% and get preliminary funding based on that.

Then, we put together a more detailed estimate, based on more engineering. This is when site visits and detailed calculations happen. At about 20% engineering, the projects gets presented to a stakeholder meeting, and everyone gets a chance to weigh in on the revised scope, and, if the estimate has significantly changed (pretty common), approve the revised estimate.

Only then do we start actual detailed engineering, creating schematics and ordering materials. We could do the whole thing before the stakeholder meeting, but then, if a showstopper flaw was found, or the budget wasn't able to support the project, all that time and money would have been wasted.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » July 28th, 2015, 1:29 pm

I believe it also has something to do with the federal schedule. Projects need federal approval to get money along the way and municipal consent is almost certainly part of the criteria for getting said money. They literally may be prevented by federal rules from waiting for more engineering before getting consent. I'm not sure, just speculating, but it's educated speculating.

talindsay
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » July 28th, 2015, 4:59 pm

So why is each of these projects - this being the fourth - defining a need for essentially a complete maintenance facility? Reading that Met Council document I know this one isn't planned to be *quite* a complete maintenance facility, but it's still pretty darned close - they're designing it to be able to do all routine maintenance plus some of the heavier maintenance.

Are both of the current facilities really only able to meet the heavy maintenance demands of their portions of the fleet? And do they both have separate heavy maintenance crews? It would seem like one crew with a critical mass of people, working out of one facility, would be the most efficient; I can see why two separate facilities may make sense to keep size down and to offer some redundancy, but I can't fathom why either Southwest or Bottineau would have anything beyond storage facilities and maybe some rudimentary basic maintenance capabilities (e.g., train wash and lubrication station). Nowhere on the whole system will be more than twenty track miles from the Hiawatha shops in my lifetime.

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Tiller
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Tiller » July 28th, 2015, 6:06 pm

Two potential reasons that come to mind would be for some sort of "Geographic Equity" purpose, and that each line may only be considered on its own, and not as part of a system, under current rules.

intercomnut
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby intercomnut » July 28th, 2015, 6:17 pm

I remember Brian Lamb talking at a recent Transportation Committee meeting and admitting that the way they're doing the system ("piecemeal" was his word) didn't allow them to construct OMFs as efficiently as they'd like.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » July 28th, 2015, 10:56 pm

Lots of people have been pointing this out for a while.

I actually don't think it's horrible to have multiple facilities like this. If nothing else, it lessens deadheading. I do quibble with the locations of the Green Line OMFs but I don't have a better idea of where to put them.

HuskyGrad
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HuskyGrad » July 29th, 2015, 7:45 am

David Greene wrote:I believe it also has something to do with the federal schedule. Projects need federal approval to get money along the way and municipal consent is almost certainly part of the criteria for getting said money. They literally may be prevented by federal rules from waiting for more engineering before getting consent. I'm not sure, just speculating, but it's educated speculating.
Municipal Consent is a process that only exists in Minnesota as a result of legislation by the state.

HuskyGrad
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HuskyGrad » July 29th, 2015, 9:42 am

Here's the state statute that defines Municipal Consent.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=473.3994

Archiapolis
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Archiapolis » July 30th, 2015, 8:03 am

sean wrote:Does anyone with familiarity in how infrastructure project management works know why municipal consent is scheduled at only 15% of design?

Why not have a complete picture presented to cities along the route. Everyone can go into the consent process with their eyes open.

The Met Council has moved consent up from Fall 2016 to Spring 2016, but why not wait for more engineering and budgeting to be done?
Also, we'd miss out on the following workflow/timeline:

"Rail Line Gets Initial Go Ahead"
<excitement>

"Proposed Rail Line Over Budget by 40%"
<fear, loathing, argument, finger-pointing, 3C, tunnel(s), uncertainty, doubt, equity>

"Proposed Rail Line Scaled Back"
<more fear, loathing, etc...>
<deadlines looming>

"Future of Proposed Rail Line Uncertain"
<...>

froggie
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby froggie » August 3rd, 2015, 9:55 pm

David's generally correct. Having multiple OMF's reduces dead-heading, which reduces operational costs. There's also the matter of, except perhaps Lowertown or up in Brooklyn Park, we generally lack the wide land available adjacent to the lines for a large OMF facility.

grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » September 13th, 2015, 8:47 pm

September 10th CMC meeting presentation

http://metrocouncil.org/getdoc/f4bdca9a ... ation.aspx

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » September 14th, 2015, 8:24 am

http://www.startribune.com/transit-offi ... 327146301/

The Strib is trying way too hard to fine parallels between Bottineau and Southwest. Yes, there will be opposition. There always is. What's lacking on Bottineau is opposition money. There are some wealthy folks up in Homewood and Golden Valley, but not the concentration there is in Kenwood/CIDNA.

It will be interesting political theater if nothing else. The arguments against it (parks!) are going to be the same. Let's see if Dayton bothers to "pause" the project for the fewer, lower-donor crowd.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » September 14th, 2015, 8:32 am

Sooooo, it's fine that it's a turd because nobody has enough money to fight it?

Also, if you thinks claims about disrupting the Kenilworth corridor are the same as complaints that it literally goes through a park serving nobody, then... boy I don't know.

You're not on any CACs for this are you? If so who do I lobby to get you taken off? Actually same but for SWLRT? How the hell do I get you off the CAC?


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