The planned $25 million overhaul of the Mall of America light-rail station has been delayed several months because construction bids came in over budget.
The Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Committee earlier this week rejected three bids ranging from $25.2 million to $32.2 million. The amount set aside to reconstruct the dreary station on the east side of the Bloomington megamall is $22 million.
The council will now look for ways to reduce the project’s construction costs and advertise a new bid package next month. The station is still expected to be completed in 2019.
The Mall of America is the Blue Line LRT’s busiest station, with some 2.65 million passengers a year.
The sub-level station has not been renovated since the Blue Line began passenger service in 2004. The new station will be located at the end of the train platform and include a passenger waiting area, a police substation and an indoor walkway connection to the mall via escalator.
Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said details on the new bid package still need to be worked out, but any changes will not affect the station’s “functionality.”
There was hope that the station would have been renovated in time for Super Bowl LII, but necessary state funding was not forthcoming in ’16.
The project is now being paid for by state bonds ($8.75 million), the Federal Transit Administration ($7 million), the city of Bloomington ($5 million), the former Counties Transit Improvement Board ($2.25 million) and the Met Council ($2 million), Padilla said.