Eden Prairie’s signature water tower overlooks a radically changed landscape noticed only, perhaps, by the residents and businesses along Eden Road and Singletree Lane. The transformation has been hidden behind Bachman’s, Bowlero, residential complexes, Costco and Emerson.
Where three years ago a neglected ridge of buckthorn, brush and weeds stretched east to west, now, light rail track alignments, a nearly completed passenger station and a four-lane, paved street are laid out.
Branded as “Town Center Place,” the new street begins where Eden Road elbows to the south at Redstone American Grill. The pavement heads west to Eden Prairie Town Center Station and a circular turn-around for cars, vans and buses. These will begin dropping off and picking up Metro Green Line passengers in the station’s “kiss-and-ride” lanes sometime in 2023.
Town Center Station’s boarding platforms will include ticket machines, emergency phones, security cameras, lighting and cold season heaters. The City of Eden Prairie will install a bike rack and run sidewalks within existing easements to the station from Eden Road and Singletree Lane. Eden Prairie Public Works Director Robert Ellis told EPLN that once all heavy construction is completed some time in 2022, city crews will fill the many planter boxes with trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs.
The intersection of Town Center Place and Eden Road already sports a temporary entry to Redstone on Idlewild Lake. The driveway and sidewalk over the tracks will include safety gate arms and alarms before trains begin their test runs.
Partial intersection closures this Thursday and Friday
This Thursday and Friday construction crews will be moving very long rails along the LRT alignment over Technology and Viking drives.
From 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, Technology Drive will be closed at its intersection with Flying Cloud Drive. Motorists should follow the detour signs.
On Friday, Oct. 22, the Viking Drive stub that serves Comfort Inn and Residence Inn will be intermittently closed from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. As needed, drivers will be directed by flaggers.
SWLRT project work affecting Smetana Road continues. Smetana Road is expected to reopen for normal traffic this week. Feital Road remains closed.
Read this related EPLN article, “SWLRT: If you lay down tracks. the trains will come.” Click here.
For more information
The project’s website has more road closure information and detour maps for Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis here.
Send your questions and comments to SWLRT Outreach Coordinator James Mockovciak via email. Call the 24-Hour SWLRT Construction Hotline at 612-373-3933.
Note: Writer Jeff Strate serves on EPLN’s Board of Directors. From February 2015 through February 2017, Strate served on the SWLRT Community Advisory Committee as an at-large member.