Design Changes Made to Proposed Robbinsdale Light Rail Stop
Project officials with the Blue Line Light Rail Extension project recently announced a redesign of the station in Robbinsdale near North Memorial Health Hospital.
The Lowry Avenue Station is planned near the border between Minneapolis and Robbinsdale. It’s one of two light rail transit stops expected to be built in Robbinsdale as part of the project.
Original design plans for the Lowry Avenue stop had the station and tracks elevated above ground level.
Nick Landwer, director of engineering and design for the light rail project, said this design had “a lack of broad stakeholder support.”
In new designs the tracks and station are located at-grade.
“We’ve kind of got together to say, you know, what can we do in this area to have a better facility that fits in the area a little bit better and serves the community maybe a little bit better?” Landwer said.
According to Landwer, without stairs or elevators, the new design is accessible for all transit riders.
Riders also won’t have to cross lanes of traffic to access North Memorial from the station, Landwer said.
Robbinsdale Mayor Says Council Feels Left Out
Robbinsdale Mayor Bill Blonigan said he was open to the new design concept. But he also said the city council felt left out of the planning process.
“We have not had enough input into this yet,” he said. “We just found out about this basically when it seemed to us like it was an accomplished fact that this is the way it’s going to be changing.”
He also asked project officials to give rough cost estimates for the new station.
Hennepin County Commissioner Irene Fernando asked project staff to continue updating elected officials along the line.
Jeff Lunde, another Hennepin County Commissioner, concurred.
“We are hitting a different runway right now — which is to municipal consent — any change is a big change,” Lunde said.