The Metropolitan Council hosted a tour of light rail construction on the Kenilworth corridor by Cedar Lake’s south shore on July 26. The tour allowed people to see firsthand the challenges of building a light rail tunnel through a very narrow site that is prone to flooding.

The Kenilworth corridor is notorious for causing much of the cost overruns and delays associated with the Metro Transit's Green Line light rail extension from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. The project’s costs ballooned to $2.75 billion in 2021 because of tunnel construction complications led to a switch in construction method. Construction of this segment will be the last of the project to wrap up in 2025. The Green Line extension will open in 2027.

Children participating in Active Solutions bike past people taking a tour of the Kenilworth corridor construction. The children and tour-goers are on a temporary bridge that facilitates a detour from Cedar Lake Parkway, which is closed for the next year. The bridge will be moved north in September to facilitate tunnel construction. Photo by Henry Pan
A completed Kenilworth tunnel section. The project managers plan to cut the steel supports several feet from the top. The tunnel is being built in 32 100-foot sections. Four of those sections are complete. Construction on the Kenilworth corridor is anticipated to wrap in 2025. Photo by Henry Pan
Construction crews dig beneath the water table as part of building a tunnel through the Kenilworth corridor for the Green Line Extension. Photo by Henry Pan

During the tour, Tom Walker of St. Louis Park said he can’t wait until the project is finished.

“I've heard a lot about the project, so anxious for it to be done, anxious for the biking to be restored and anxious to be able to ride it,” Walker said. “We're very interested in the opportunity to be able to [go to ballgames and concerts] on the light rail.”

Others on the tour were concerned about the project, given light rail’s reputation for homelessness, drugs, and crime. To solve these issues, Gary Kerber of Minnetonka said, “We need more jails and more prisons.”

The Met Council has tours scheduled four times this year, all of which fill up fast. Subscribe to the project’s newsletter to receive updates on future tours.