LRT Construction and Communications Work Group
As LRT Construction has begun with utilities relocation and roadway improvements in downtown Saint Paul, south and east of the Capitol, and around the University of Minnesota, people are beginning to understand what it will be like in 2011 and 2012 along the Central Corridor as the light rail line is built. The LRT Construction and Communications work group is focusing on monitoring the contractors’ performance in meeting requirements, including providing adequate signage and ensuring that DBE and workforce hiring goals are met. Questions related to the impacts of construction on small businesses are being addressed by the Business Concerns work group.
Construction Communication Committees (CCCs) are in place for all the affected areas, to monitor the contractors’ performance and ensure that community comments, questions and complaints are responded to in a timely manner. One of the work group members serves on the U of M CCC, which meets twice a month; he reports back regularly to the work group on how the process is working and what problems are surfacing.
CACC members also participated in determining what criteria should be used to determine whether, and how much, incentive pay should be awarded to the contractor each quarter. As additional CCCs are set up, it will be important to ensure that community representatives are appointed who will actively monitor construction impacts, gather information from other neighborhood residents and businesses about issues of concern to them, and hold the contractor’s accountable for fulfilling and going above and beyond to meet the expectations of the community.
A 24-Hour Construction Hotline has been set up by the project office. All hotline calls should be acknowledged within an hour and, depending on the urgency of the issue, the contractor or other responsible party should respond promptly with an answer to a question or resolution of a complaint. Weekly Construction Updates with maps are posted online to let people know what streets and sidewalks will be closed and where buses will stop in and around the construction zone. To sign up for weekly updates on construction in downtown Saint Paul, around the Capitol, or at the University of Minnesota go to the Met Council's Central Corridor LRT website.
Construction Hotline: 651-602-1404
Jobs for local workers. The work group will be monitoring progress in meeting DBE and hiring goals, while also working to ensure that a good number of the available minority and women contracts and jobs go to local residents. It has been difficult to pin down specifics, including the number of jobs that will be created, the types of jobs that will be available, the skills required, the duration of employment anticipated for different types of jobs, training needed to apply for jobs, the need to join a union to be eligible for employment, and the likelihood of new trainees securing jobs, given the number of longtime union members also seeking employment.
A Public Forum on Jobs is being planned for December 2010 or January 2011, in conjunction with the Community Engagement Work Group. If you are interested in receiving information about this forum, please sign up on the form in the right hand column to receive e-mails or to join the LRT Construction and/or Community Engagement work groups.