July 3, 2013

Chicago Red Line project making progress

The Red Line South reconstruction project is among more than $1 billion in investment Mayor Emanuel has directed to improving the backbone of the CTA rail system. Photo by Daniel Schwen

The Red Line South reconstruction project is among more than $1 billion in investment Mayor Emanuel has directed to improving the backbone of the CTA rail system. Photo by Daniel Schwen
Six weeks into the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Red Line reconstruction project, nearly all of the tracks, ties, third rail and ballast have been removed from the 10 miles of railroad between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street, according to officials.

Crews have also begun the rehabilitation of eight of the nine stations that are part of the project, with work including lighting replacement or refurbishment; floor reglazing/repair; painting; cleaning; and new elevators at the Garfield, 63rd and 87th stations. The ninth station, 95th Street Terminal, will be reconstructed in a separate, $240 million project next year.

The Red Line South reconstruction is one of the city’s largest current infrastructure projects and one of the largest transit-related projects in the country. The reconstruction will generate around 1,500 jobs, including 1,000 construction jobs and more than 400 part-time, permanent bus operators. Many of those jobs are being filled by Chicagoans.

Additionally, both of the project’s prime contractors — Kiewit Construction (track work) and F.H. Paschen, S.N.Nielsen (station work) — have either met or exceeded the CTA’s goal for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation, by hiring a total of 39 DBE subcontractors for a total of $82.5 million. Approximately $54 million of that will go to African-American owned firms.

The Red Line South reconstruction project is among more than $1 billion in investment Mayor Emanuel has directed to improving the Red Line, the backbone of the CTA rail system, providing more than one-third of rail ridership.

Upcoming Red Line projects include the complete reconstruction of the Wilson station ($203M), complete reconstruction of the 95th Street terminal ($240M), and an overhaul of the Clark/Division subway station ($41M).

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