TKDA is finishing work on the expansion of the Hiawatha Light Rail operations and maintenance facility in Minnesota’s Twin Cities to serve the new Central Corridor line, expected to come online in July 2014. The $16 million expansion will make room to store and service additional trains and longer train configurations for both the Hiawatha and the Central Corridor.
With construction rapidly advancing on the Central Corridor and the arrival of the additional light rail vehicles needed to serve it, Metro Transit called for the expansion of the operations and maintenance facility in 2009. In addition, the Hiawatha Line will transition from two-car to three-car trains, and the original facility did not have the capacity to accommodate this switch. With these considerations in mind, TKDA completed design services for the expansion in December 2010, and construction commenced in June 2011.
Highlights of the expansion include a new 43,000-square-foot vehicle storage building, a 16,000-square-foot maintenance addition, a 1,200-square-foot addition to the rail control center, and the addition of a light rail vehicle lift, hoists, cranes, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. Modifications to the yard track, traction power, overhead centenary, and signal systems were also included in the project.
An area of particular interest in the age of going green is the new geothermal system. Metro Transit has embarked on an initiative to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels to reduce CO2 emissions and save on energy costs. TKDA designed a geothermal system that will both heat and cool the expanded area and portions of the existing facility. The system is expected to save Metro Transit $45,000 a year in energy costs and prevent 136 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year.
“The Central Corridor Line will become an integral part of the overall transit system in the Twin Cities,” says Bill Deitner, TKDA’s CEO. “We have been delighted to be a part of the team that has reintroduced rail transit to the metro area and are proud to team with Metro Transit to make the light rail system as efficient and environmentally clean as possible.”
TKDA has played a role on many of the projects involving the development of the light rail system in the Twin Cities. The company was part of the multi-firm team which designed and built the original Hiawatha Corridor Light Rail Transit Project in Minneapolis. TKDA also designed and provided construction oversight for the original light rail operations and maintenance facility and is on the team rehabilitating downtown Saint Paul’s Union Depot, the eastern terminus of the future Central Corridor Line.
With over 200 employees, TKDA is a nationwide employee-owned engineering, architecture, and planning firm headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit