The work awarded Wednesday was for light-rail cars and construction on the line's Minneapolis segment.
The reality of Central Corridor light rail rolled forward Wednesday when the Metropolitan Council awarded contracts to build 41 train cars as well as the Minneapolis segment of the route.
The transit line will run along University Avenue between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The $153 million contract for the cars went to Siemens Transportation Systems Inc., which will build 31 "low-floor" vehicles for the Central Corridor and another 10 for the Hiawatha Line's eventual conversion to three-car trains in Minneapolis.
Cars will be built at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, Calif., with the first vehicle arriving in the Twin Cities at the end of 2012.
The successful bidder to build the western 3 miles of the Central Corridor was a partnership of Ames Construction of Burnsville and C.S. McCrossan of Maple Grove. The $113.8 million bid fell $4.2 million below what was budgeted for the project.
Ames and McCrossan will build double tracks and four stations. Most work will begin next spring.
In June, the Met Council awarded a $205.1 million contract to Walsh Construction of Chicago to build the St. Paul portion of the line, known as Civil East. Heavy construction on that 7-mile stretch that begins at Union Depot in St. Paul is planned for 2011 and 2012.
Wednesday's contract award for the Minneapolis segment, known as Civil West, includes work that will begin this fall to strengthen piers under the Washington Avenue bridge. In December, crews will begin working to link the Central Corridor line with the Hiawatha Line just west of the existing Cedar-Riverside Station.
The project's total budget is $957 million. Planners are expecting the federal government to pay half the cost this fall.
Kevin Giles • 651-735-3342