Aviation, tunnel expertise connects travelers with regional light rail
• Large-diameter tunnels are first to be bored under active airport
• Communication, trust, experience crucial to success
• Project completed ahead of schedule, on budget
Connecting to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport was vital to the Twin Cities’ light-rail system, so officials turned to HNTB’s aviation and tunneling expertise.
Leading design and construction, HNTB used multiple methods and designs to mine twin light-rail tunnels and a station beneath the active airport.
They surmounted challenging geologic conditions, minimized passenger service disruptions, maximized safety and delivered the project ahead of an aggressive schedule and within budget.
The tunnels are the largest in the state and are believed to be the first large-diameter tunnels bored under an active commercial airfield. In addition, Lindbergh Station is Minnesota’s largest underground public structure.
A strong working relationship between HNTB and the airport commission fostered communication and trust that contributed to the tunnel project’s success.