Overnight Tests for Central Corridor; Neighbors to Celebrate Future

Updated: 08/16/2013 3:56 PM KSTP.com By: Jenna Jaynes

Unify University Parade Route
Unify University Parade Route

Metro Transit will be running overnight tests of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (Green Line) on the western half of University Avenue starting Aug. 26.

"With these tests, the Central Corridor LRT Project continues to make excellent progress toward our goal of opening in mid-2014 before the Major League Baseball All-Star game at Target Field next July. Construction is now 95 percent complete," Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh said.

Starting late on Aug. 26, a light rail vehicle will operate on University Avenue between Stadium Village in Minneapolis and Fry Street in St. Paul. This will be the first time in this stretch that the vehicles will draw power from the overhead wires.

During the week of Aug. 19, a railcar mover will pull a vehicle along the route during the daytime hours to verify clearances.

The first live wire test for this line was on July 25 from the West bank through the East bank to Stadium Village. Tests will continue through September.

Months of testing will follow before the opening date in mid-2014.

Neighborhoods in the area have been awaiting the end of nearly two years of construction on the route and are planning to celebrate this weekend. The Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods are hosting a "Unify University" parade to celebrate the future along the Central Corridor/Green Line.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, the parade will begin at Maxfield Elementary School on Central Avenue between Victoria and Grotto. After winding around town, the parade will end at the West Minnehaha Recreation Center for the Frogtown Fall Festival.

Businesses, art organizations and local residents are among those planning to take part in the parade.

At the end of the parade the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent will host an Open Mic for anyone to voice their concerns. The Rec Center is also hosting the Frogtown Fall Festival, a football scrimmage and a health fair with children's activities.