Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hiawatha Line adds final station, plans Saturday debut

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Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Council will open the America Boulevard Station (at 34th Avenue) to Hiawatha Line light rail riders Saturday, after dedicating the station Wednesday, one month ahead of deadline.

The new stop is the final one of 19 planned stops on the original plans for the route, but construction of the $3.3 million station was deferred due to redesign of the southern portion of the 12-mile route, according to Bob Gibbons, director of customer services for Metro Transit.

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America Boulevard Station is northeast of the Mall of America and a short distance from Bloomington Central Station. Three hotels, an office complex, and large long-term parking lots are located nearby. The area, which is called Airport South, is slated for redevelopment, and Bloomington officials view the new station as a component to those plans.

The station opening follows completion last month of the north end of the line, when a new station at Target Field opened that serves both the Hiawatha Line and the new Northstar commuter rail line.