Wearing his new Northstar Commuter Rail lapel pin, the Ramsey mayor started the official groundbreaking for the new Ramsey Commuter Rail station March 27.
“This is a day we have been waiting for along time,” said Mayor Bob Ramsey.
The project is an important project for the city, he said.
Ramsey thanked the funding partners in the $13 million project, including Gov. Mark Dayton for including the $4 million in the state’s bonding bill.
With a 230-unit market rate apartment building being built nearby, hopefully, the residents will be riders, Ramsey said.
Since the city has received approval for the rail station, it has received a lot of calls from interested developers, he said.
“Taxpayers are realizing significant savings because we’re able to move ahead in the current marketplace,” said Matt Look, Anoka County commissioner and Anoka County Regional Rail Authority chairman.
Because of the market conditions, there will be a savings of approximately $2 million, he said.
“It’s perfect timing,” Look said.
Sheehy Construction was awarded the rail station project contract with a low bid $6,583,300, about $600,000 under the estimated cost.
Construction costs are being paid for with a combination of funds from the city, Anoka County, the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) and Metropolitan Council
According to the county, the Ramsey station is expected to see about 200 riders per weekday, adding 51,000 weekday riders per year to the commuter rail system.
While not a solution to the Highway 10 congestion, commuter rail will ease some congestion, Look said.
This station will be similar to the Northstar station in Coon Rapids, but it will be unique as it will have a skyway connecting the station to the parking ramp, he said.
The Northstar Commuter Rail is a stress free way to travel for commuters, Look said.
They will not have to worry about the weather or the guy in front of them, he said.
The rail will connect riders to St. Paul, the airport, Eden Prairie and even more places as the rail system grows, Look said.
Construction is expected to be completed by Nov. 16.
“Hopefully, it will be done sooner. Before the snow flies,” Look said.
Tammy Sakry is at email@example.com