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Minnesota Department of Transportation

Hiawatha Corridor Light Rail Project

LTK’s involvement with light rail transit in the Twin Cities extends back to 1985. After assisting in the development of LRT systems plans for the Twin Cities, LTK staff developed design criteria, which became the blue print for the PE and final design.

PD1 - HiawathaSeparate contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation as well as Hennepin and Ramsey counties, covered all systems elements, including LRVs, LRT signal system, traction electrification, communications and central control, system wide electrical, fare collection, yard and shop design, and maintenance support equipment during preliminary engineering for both the Hiawatha and Central Corridors.  LTK developed operating and maintenance plans, performed corrosion control analyses and prepared cost estimates for all elements.

LTK assisted in the preparation of Design Build contract documents for the design, implementation and construction of the Hiawatha LRT Corridor, a 12.5-mile line using a combination of street operation, exclusive ROW operation and tunnel operation.  LTK was responsible for all systems elements including systems integration, signals, communications, central control, TWC, traction substations, overhead contact system, system wide electrical, yard and shop facilities and maintenance equipment.  Associated with this project, but under contract to the Metropolitan Airports Commission, LTK supported the detailed design of tunnel electrical/transit facilities and provided detailed corrosion control design assistance.

LTK assisted Metropolitan Council/Metropolitan Transit in overseeing the design/construction of the systems elements of the Hiawatha Corridor. The total cost of the project was $675 million dollars in 2000 dollars of which $160 million were for systems elements.

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City of Portland

Portland Streetcar

The initial segment of the Portland Streetcar system, a 2.4-mile line with a total of five cars, has been in operation since July 20, 2001. LTK provided assistance to the City of Portland during all stages of the project.

PD2-PortlandLTK’s efforts to assist the City of Portland in planning for and implementing the trolley line began in 1990. Following a feasibility study conducted by LTK, conceptual design standards, capital and operating cost estimates were prepared for several lines being evaluated to provide a network of vintage trolley routes that could be developed incrementally to serve as local distributors and people movers within downtown Portland and adjacent neighborhoods.  Preliminary engineering and operations planning were completed for a circulator line to link downtown Portland and its immediately adjacent neighborhoods using a mix of new low-floor streetcars.

LTK was involved in the final design, specification and procurement of the new low-floor streetcars, a traction electrification system and streetcar maintenance facility. The OCS work included five 90-degree crossings and used building attachments instead of poles in a number of areas. In areas where poles where used, the pole design was coordinated with artwork with totem pole sculptures installed over the poles. Firm specialists provided expertise during the design, construction and testing of the multi-colored low-floor cars, built by Inekon/Skoda in Plzen, Czech Republic.

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Sound Transit

Light Rail Transit Systems Engineering

LTK assumed the role of systems engineering consultant in 1998 for Sound Transit’s Link program. Leading a team of 32 specialty engineering, architectural and professional services firms, including 22 with offices in the Central Puget Sound region and 20 of which are certified M/W/DBE organizations, LTK was involved in conceptual design and preliminary engineering to support a EIS/FFGA process for the Central Line, a 25-mile corridor from the University of Washington in north Seattle through downtown and the SeaTac airport to a major park and ride facility at South 200th Street.

PD3-2-SoundTransitAs part of this initial assignment, the LTK team completed conceptual design, preliminary engineering and final design of the Tacoma Line, a 1.6-mile stretch in downtown Tacoma from the multi-modal Tacoma Dome Station to the Theatre District.

The systems engineering elements for both Link programs include light rail vehicles, communications and central control systems, train control signals, traction power with overhead contact system, stray current protection and corrosion control analysis and design, system-wide electrical design, and operations maintenance planning support. LTK has total responsibility for maintenance facilities, including all civil, architectural, track, electrical, mechanical and industrial issues.

The LTK contract was extended in January 2000 to include final design of the systems elements and program management for the vehicle procurement for the Central Line and construction management services for the Tacoma Line and the LTK‑designed maintenance facility was completed. The Tacoma Link, just 30 miles south of Seattle, was put into operation in August 2003. LTK administered the vehicle contract and managed the construction coming in under budget and on-time. The Link’s ridership has exceeded all projections.

The shop and yard substations have been delivered, installed and tested. Three streetcars were ordered and were shipped from the Czech Republic in July 2002, arriving in early September in Tacoma. By late 2002, track and a portion of the overhead contact system had been installed, and the streetcars were under test.

PD3-1-SoundTransitDue to budgetary concerns, the Central Line project was shortened to a 14-mile project. LTK has continued with its final design activities, including completion of design work on the maintenance facility and yard, within the common core of the new alignment. LTK also has assisted Sound Transit in preparation of a Request for Proposals for 31 low-floor light rail vehicles, which was issued in early 2003. This resulted in a procurement contract which was awarded to Kinki Sharyo in January 2004. LTK was also involved in design support during construction and construction management activities for all system elements.

The initial operating segment opened for revenue service on July 18, 2009, followed by an extension to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Daily ridership is estimated to be 26,600 by 2010. LTK was responsible for the design of approximately $300 million in systems contracts out of the total $2.1 billion Central Link budget. LTK also supported the new EIS process for finding an affordable and acceptable route north to Northgate, a program referred to as North Link.

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Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet)

Systems Engineering

Among LTK’s family of clients, no agency better demonstrates LTK’s systems engineering skill than TriMet. Over the past quarter century, and several major projects, LTK has helped TriMet create a light rail system that has earned international acclaim. The firm has participated in the Banfield Corridor Light Rail Project, Banfield Double-Tracking Project, Westside Corridor Light Rail Extension, Hillsboro Light Rail Extension, Airport Light Rail Extension, Interstate Light Rail Extension, I-205 PE and Final Design, Mall Final Design and Washington County Commuter Rail. Throughout this development period, LTK has served and continues to serve as TriMet’s consultant for systems engineering. This nearly unprecedented level of continuous client service stands as a clear testimony to the quality of LTK’s work.

PD4-TriMetLTK served as TriMet’s Systems Engineering Consultant for the initial Banfield Corridor Light Rail Project (The Eastside Line).  LTK engineers functioned as an extension of TriMet’s staff with responsibility for conceptual design, preliminary engineering, final design and construction/procurement management for all systems elements, which included 16 traction power substations, overhead contact system (OCS), system-wide ductbank, train control/signal system, train-to-wayside communications (TWC), radio communications system, and corrosion control design. LTK also was responsible for all systems inspection, testing, integrated testing and start-up.

Final engineering for the light rail project began in mid-1980, and construction began in early 1982.  The overhead contact system is catenary construction in open track areas and trolley wire in more visually-sensitive downtown areas. Now known as the Eastside leg of the Blue Line of MAX (Metropolitan Area Express), revenue service began in September 1986, and gained immediate public acceptance. Initial daily ridership of 20,000 grew steadily to nearly 40,000 per day in 2005. The system is internationally acclaimed for its moderate cost (built under budget), aesthetic urban design and cost-effective operation.

For the Banfield, Westside Hillsboro, and I-Max Corridors, LTK’s software tools were used to simulate the performance of the TriMet traction power system prior to commencing final design.  With more than 40 route-miles (nearly all of which is double track), the system has substations operating at 750 VDC and 825 VDC. The traction power simulation studies determined the substation ratings and spacing, confirmed the suitability of selected OCS conductors, and yielded substation energy consumptions for operating cost estimates. 

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