From: Cassandra Berg

Date: Aug 04 13:26 CDT 

You know, this light rail construction is getting out of hand.  Between damaged business, damaged homes, excessive vibration, excessive noise at all hours of the day and night, construction trucks not using the proper roadways, and on and on….where does it stop? 

You know this wouldn’t go on if this was Summit Avenue!  I am SO SICK of everyone taking advantage of the Frogtown area. 

Last night this is what happened:  BEWARE on Uni/ Mation intersection….Huge divet on Marion that is not marked! Cars are bottoming out,, mufflers getting damaged, tires and alignments messed up. It ripped the tire right off the rim of or car last night. We now need front end alignment, tire repair, etc! THANKS WALSH CONSTRUCTION!  Called construction Hotline to report last night right after it happened at 11:30 pm. There had better be markers up so drivers are aware…anyone else who has suffered damage contact the Hotline!  I have talked to other neighbors this morning…others have had problems too!  So you think they could have marked the HUGE divet?  Heck no.  Do you think they will pay for repairs?  Most likely not!  …

The sad part is the city of St Paul hired them without checking this out first. Maybe it’s time for a class action suit against them and the city to hold them ALL accountable. No more stepping on Frogtown!  I live on Sherburne.  My house shakes like crazy.  All my doors are now misaligned, pictures are crocked, I BOUNCE in my house!  The limestone foundation walls of my basement have chunks that have fallen out of them and limestone debris all around the base of the walls.  I am just waiting for a crack to appear in a wall or the ceiling.  And what is even worse than what is showing up right now, the damage WALSH is causing can take a year or so to manifest.  The stress points are now there and just waiting to pop!  Do your research on line and check into swampland and environmental engineers and what they have found out about unstable land and vibration. 

In addition to all the above…all the shaking and damage to our homes and the businesses along Uni…Walsh says they have vibration alarms installed with alarms. These supposed alarms go off if they are causing damaging vibration and then they must stop work and find another way to do that work. Well the alarms are not going off and everyone is suffering. Technically, an environmental engineer should have studied our soil ( which is very mobile swampland here in Frogtown) and assessed what vibration level would be acceptable. I wonder if that was done or if Walsh just took a general vibration level that would apply to any soil for their acceptable levels?

 See TCDP article: Trials of Central Corridor construction continue in St. Paul.

From: Erin Stojan Ruccolo 

Date: Aug 04 15:55 CDT 

Cassandra, that stinks. I’m so sorry that your car was damaged. I’m pretty sure you’re right that they won’t reimburse for the damages. Our neighborhood group along Chatsworth has been documenting all of the Walsh and Walsh-contracted construction equipment going up and down Charles, Sherburne and Edmund Aves (they’re supposed to take Thomas and north/south streets only – so Chatsworth, Oxford et al ok, Sherburne/Charles/Edmund are not – I’m not sure what the limitations are closer to Dale/Uni.) 


From Tait:   all Walsh vehicles and all large trucks/ equipme nt can only use Thomas and North-South streets. Sherburne, Charles, & Edmund are totally off limits. All personal and professional contruction vehicles are BANNED from parking anywhere in the neighborhood. They have a shuttle system.   …

They genuinely don’t give a whiff about breaking their contract terms. If the Met Council awards their bonus, that says to me that the Met Council doesn’t give a rip about neighborhoods either.  Also, while they’ve been better than Walsh, I haven’t been thrilled with the Central Corridor office folks, for that matter. The hotline staff have been inappropriately paraphrasing complaints – eg one of my neighbors called in last week regarding the construction equipment inappropriately using our street, and the hotline staff started typing “bothered by construction vibration and noise.” Ummm, no, that’s very different than construction equipment using our street when they shouldn’t be. And a card my neighbor got from our local Central Corridor office representative on it – get this – HAS THE WRONG NUMBER FOR THE HOTLINE ON IT. No joke. It’s the wrong area code. Did anyone even bother to proofread the neighborhood outreach cards?? 

Our neighbors have been calling the Walsh supervisor directly. The supervisor has not been returning calls or has been making up idiotic excuses. I would understand a bit more if all of the things we’re asking for weren’t actually in the agreement. And that’s to say nothing of the problems Ngon has had with Walsh not enforcing the parking stipulations in the contract. 

Sorry. I’m just venting at this point. I think the project will be great once it’s installed. But I simply can’t believe the level of ineptitude and disregard shown by Walsh, and either apathy or sheer inability to hold Walsh accountable by the Met Council or other contracting parties


From: Ann Jalonen 

Date: Aug 04 23:21 CDT 

I live on the corner of University and Park (I know there’s a church there–that’s where I live). The construction trucks use Sherburne all the time–the workers park along Park, between University and Sherburne.  Wo9rk ususally starts around 5AM–right  outside my befroom wondows. It’s really a pain.  And it’s been going on since May, for sure.Park has been closed since the legislature went home.  I don’t seriously think we’ll ever drive across University at Park again.


From: Norma Roberts-Hakizimana 

Date: Aug 05 21:42 CDT 

The neighborhoods that are affected by this project are of NO importance to Met Council nor Walsh Construction. We’re more of a thorn in their side, something like a pesky fly that is simply tolerated until they’re gone with their pockets bulging from all of the $$ they made, together.    I praise those that will find time to go and speak up & out regarding this blatant display of disrespect to Our community. 


From: Nkongo Cigolo 

Date: Aug 06 17:25 CDT 

The Met Council Central Corridor Project Office is taking concerns about construction traffic and parking in the neighborhoods very seriously and are working with the contractor to resolve these issues.  We have staff monitoring the streets at least three times per day.  If you see construction equipment please call the 24 hour hotline 651-602-1404 immediately with the location, license plate and name of the construction company.  We are forwarding this information to the contractor who is implementing progressive discipline.  You can also email to <email obscured>.  We have our next monthly public construction information meeting on August 15 at 4 PM at the Model Cities, 849 University Avenue.  Please call me, Nkongo Cigolo with any general questions at 651-602-1559.  Again, please call the hotline if the call is urgent.  Also see a list of upcoming public construction information meetings in attached flyer.  Nkongo Cigolo


From: Erin Stojan Ruccolo 

Date: Aug 07 08:26 CDT 

Thanks, Nkongo. You should know, though, that my neighbor HAS called in construction equipment on Charles Av to the Central Corridor hotline, only to have the construction hotline operator to paraphrase the complaint to “concerned about noise and vibration from construction.” My neighbor was savvy enough to have the operator erase that and type what the complaint actually was, but I’m sure others would assume the operator would actually record the complaint, not an inaccruate paraphrasing of the complaint. 

Also, we’ve heard from a couple of different folks driving construction equipment now that they were actually TOLD to use Charles Av. 

Very, very frustrating indeed. …


From: Fred Roth 

Date: Aug 08 15:16 CDT 

What’s the difference between light rail construction and other infrastructure projects such as sewer replacement as far as noise and traffic disruption? I remember Lake street in Minneapolis being torn up for seemingly forever for sewer replacement.  Now Cedar Riverside has been torn up for some months now. Then there are the contiuous widening and other “improvements” to other roadways. As the joke goes there are 2 seasons in Minnesota: Winter and construction. My point is;  Why do we never hear the level of compaints about other infrastructure projects as we do about light rail.  We’ve been hearing apocalyptic predictions for nearly a decade  about the negative effects of light rail construction.  I’ve been surprised to see the construction/disruption proceed down University at about the same rate as any other project where the street is torn up. 

See thread here. 

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