completed in April 2014, and the station opened to
the public the following month.
In addition to dealing with a pronounced lack of
space, the project team, as part of its construction
planning and logistics efforts, had to remove con-
taminated soil from areas in which excavation per-
taining to foundation construction and piling instal-
lation was planned and to demarcate utilities that
would be either abandoned or relocated. Construc-
tion phasing also was essential given the critical op-
erations of the HERC. That facility generates enough
steam energy to provide electricity to 25,000 homes,
as well as to power heating and cooling systems in
nearby buildings. Therefore, the project team had to
ensure that the 200 garbage trucks that visit HERC
each day would continue to have access during con-
struction. This required a detailed phasing plan and
construction of various temporary access lanes to maintain
Because of poor soils at the site, all of the project structures
had to be built on steel pipe piles and H-piles. Posttensioned
concrete was used because of its strength and constructability.
The design, however, also called for concrete curves, cascades,
and stairs, complicating the construction process.
The challenges associated with the site led to the use of
a unique trilevel design. The third, or uppermost, level includes the light-rail station, which is located under a light-ed canopy and serves the METRO Blue and Green lines. The
massive 300 ft long canopy stands 25 ft above the platforms,
and its fins comprise a total of 2,400 pieces of aluminum.
The canopy features programmable light-emitting diodes
that can change to any color, creating a must-see attraction.
The plaza on this level includes an area called the Light
Garden, which features nine fixtures with programmable
light-emitting diodes interspersed among its tree trenches.
The plaza also invites people to enjoy the Great Lawn, a large
green expanse complete with a 15 by 30 ft video screen located on top of the elevator bank. The screen is used for game
day broadcasts as well as for other events hosted by Hennepin County, Target Corporation, or the Minnesota Twins.
Yet another feature of the plaza is the light-rail bridge,
which comprises 13 precast-concrete spans ranging in length
The train platform is covered by a 300 ft long, 25 ft tall
canopy whose fins comprise 2,400 pieces of aluminum,
opposite. Two large cisterns, right, can store 40,000 gal
of rainwater and snowmelt from the upper-level plaza
and the bridge. Stored temporarily in the cisterns, the
water is pumped to the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery
Center, which reuses it in various industrial processes.
THE CHALLENGES AssoCiAted
with the site led to the use of
A uNique trilevel desigN.