Rosemount transit facility construction should begin this fallThe Minnesota Valley Transit Authority opened bids for the Rosemount project Aug. 15. Authorities hope to start service from the station in December
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
Rosemount residents could start to see construction as early as next month on a long-planned downtown public transportation hub.
The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority was scheduled to open bids for the project Aug. 15 and could award a contract at its Aug. 29 board meeting. Construction could start in September or October and be done in a couple of months.
“It’s a pretty straightforward project,” said Robin Selvig, MVTA’s customer relations manager. “It’s mostly surface parking. There will be a small building, but we are hopeful of starting service from that location in December.”
When it is finished, the new lot will replace the current park-and-ride facility in the parking lot of the Rosemount Community Center. The MVTA currently offers its 476 and 478 express routes to Minneapolis from that location as well as by-reservation service on its 420 route connecting Rosemount and Apple Valley.
The downtown transit station has been in discussion since early 2009, when the city of Rosemount threatened to leave the MVTA if service in the city did not improve. There was concern that the routes available from the community center were not useful enough for residents, and that the facility was not well marked. There was some hope the facility could be built in 2010, but problems with soil contamination delayed work. The project is funded in large part by a federal Congestion Management and Air Quality grant with matching funds from the Metropolitan Council. That grant won’t actually arrive until 2013, but the city has offered to put up money for construction in advance to speed things along.
The city also acquired land along 145th Street and Burnley Avenue for the facility, and demolished a building on part of the property.
Selvig said she sees value in getting the project moving.
“I think we agree with the city of Rosemount that having a physical presence that’s well signed that transit is available in Rosemount … hopefully will continue to encourage ridership,” she said.
Ridership from the existing Rosemount station is growing, Selvig said. On the 478 express route to Minneapolis ridership is up 9.5 percent for the first half of the year.
“Our ridership generally this year has been strong, I think for a lot of reasons,” Selvig said. “Whenever we do car counts there, we see steady growth.”
Plans for the park-and-ride presented in February call for entrances from Burnley Avenue and bus pull-overs along Burnley. The shelter will be climate controlled and will include a unisex restroom, drinking fountain and mechanical room. There will be 102 parking spots on the site.