2019 has been a big year for transit in the construction industry. From light rails to trolleys to highway revamps, cities across the country are doubling down on trying to solve their transportation woes with ambitious megaprojects aimed at producing new or expanded systems.
To see just how widespread these upgrades will be, we’ve rounded up some of the most complex and expensive transit projects currently under construction in the U.S.
1. $2 billion Southwest Lightrail (Minneapolis, MN)
- This 15-mile light rail will provide service between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. The estimated one-way travel time from end to end is 32 minutes.
- Major locations on the line will include Bde Maka Ska, Cedar Lake, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.
- Early construction (led by Lunda Construction and C.S. McCrossan) began in December 2018, and the estimated completion for this project is 2023.
2. $1 billion Union Station Redevelopment (Chicago, IL)
- The project, spearheaded by Riverside Development and expected to get underway in late 2019, will be built on Amtrak-owned property south of the station.
- Amtrak will reinvest some of the funds it received for its part of the modernization program to develop a new entrance, which will provide greater ADA access.
- Riverside’s project is expected to get underway in late 2019 and should generate 5,100 temporary construction jobs.
3. $2.1 billion Mid-Coast Trolley (San Diego, CA)
- The Mid-Coast Trolley project will extend Blue Line Trolley service from Old Town north to the University City community, serving major activity centers such as Mission Bay Park, the VA Medical Center, UC San Diego, and University Town Center.
- The contractor for the project is a joint venture of top transit builders, called Mid-Coast Transit Constructors. It is a fully-integrated joint venture of Stacy and Witbeck Inc., Herzog Contracting Corp., and Skanska.
- Major construction work began in 2016, with service anticipated to begin in late 2021.
4. $10 billion Honolulu Rail Transit (Honolulu, HI)
- This urban rail rapid transit system features design elements from both heavy rail systems and light metros, with a commuter rail-like design incorporated into trains and suburban stations.
- It will become the first large-scale publicly run metro system in the United States to feature platform screen doors and will be driverless.
- The first phase of the project, linking East Kapolei and Aloha Stadium, is scheduled to open in late 2020. Its second phase is due to open in December 2025.
5. $5.4 billion Interstate 422 (Birmingham, AL)
- Interstate 422 (also known as Corridor X-1 or the Birmingham Northern Beltline) is a proposed 52.5-mile-long northern bypass route around Birmingham, Alabama.
- Along with the existing I-459, the Northern Beltline would complete the bypass loop of central Birmingham for all interstate traffic.
- Upon completion in 2047, the Northern Beltline will be the most expensive road in Alabama’s history, and among the most expensive per-mile road ever built in the U.S.