ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Lane reductions scheduled for 11 intersections along the new light rail line between St. Paul and Minneapolis are resurrecting traffic-headache memories for local motorists.

Traffic has been reduced by at least one lane due to repairs needed on critical cracks in concrete plates, originally installed by the contractor Walsh Construction of Chicago.

Bob Smith, a commercial driver, said he’s had to re-route his deliveries to avoid time-consuming delays.

“Even yesterday I had to go to one spot there, and I had to take a bunch of detours in order to get where I had to go, so it’s pretty bad,” he said.

The Metropolitan Council said drivers will have to endure the traffic “squeeze” until at least May 15, when Walsh has promised to be finished with its repair work.

That’s not too much of a consolation for driver Steven Conway, who can still remember the traffic congestion along University, when the Green Line was being constructed.

“I think it’s terrible. We didn’t get any warnings and I am not sure how I can get around all of that mess right now. I got to figure it out today,” he said.

The Met Council said it is not concerned with the cost of repairs since it cites “faulty workmanship” for the cracks in the concrete and all of the costs associated with the repairs will be covered by Walsh.

The good news is that repairs are not expected to impact the formal opening of the light rail line on June 14.


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