Construction Contractor Selected for Eight Brown Line Stations

September 14, 2005

Construction Contractor Selected for Eight Brown Line Stations

Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick, and Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell and Western Stations Complete the Competitive Bid Process

The Chicago Transit Board today approved two construction contracts for eight Brown Line stations to be reconstructed as part of the capacity expansion project. A $45.5 million contract was approved for the Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick stations, and a $19.9 million contract was approved for the Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell and Western stations. Chicago-based FHP Tectonics Corporation was selected as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for both contracts.

"Because of the investment in its service and facilities, CTA has seen ridership gains in six of the past seven years. This significant investment in the Brown Line is no different, it will improve transit for many of our customers who are now often unable to board a Brown Line train during rush hour because of overcrowding," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?When completed, we will be able to add two cars to each train to the Brown Line during rush hour which will vastly improve the situation for our current customers, as well as help to attract new customers that appreciate the convenience and affordability of public transit."

The contracts include demolition of existing structures on the property, construction of modern stationhouses, new canopies, fare equipment and a state-of-the-art announcement system. Following contract approval, the construction contractor will prepare and submit a construction plan to CTA for approval. CTA will hold a community meeting for each station package to provide further construction details and timelines for the work.

During station construction, Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick will remain open on weekdays, but may experience up to six weekend closures during the construction period when all three stations will be closed at the same time to allow construction crews unlimited access to station platforms.

During station construction, Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco and Rockwell will be subject to temporary station closures during the weekday, however, no two adjacent stations will be closed at the same time during weekdays so customers may go to the next closest station for service. In addition to the temporary weekday closures, these stations may also experience up to 10 weekend closures during the construction period when all four stations will be closed at the same time to allow construction crews unlimited access to station platforms. The Western station will not experience any temporary station closures during weekdays or weekends.

During periods of temporary closure, customers will be encouraged to use the most convenient existing CTA bus and rail service in the area. Station construction work for both groups of stations will begin later this year, however, no temporary weekday station closures will occur before February 2006.

?We fully appreciate that temporary station closures will cause inconveniences for our customers, but the end result will be providing the communities along this line with efficient service, and accessible and modern stations," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?In most cases making large-scale infrastructure improvements creates temporary inconveniences for people and businesses, but CTA staff have been and will continue to work with local elected officials, local businesses and community members to keep them informed of plans for station renovation and other pertinent details that will help reduce the impact of construction on their daily lives."

CTA received two bids from construction contractors through a competitive bidding process for Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick, and three bids for Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell and Western.

The Chicago, Sedgwick and Armitage, and Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell and Western packages are the second and third of the five station construction packages to complete the competitive bidding process. On June 9, the Chicago Transit Board approved a $94.3 million contract for the reconstruction of the Belmont and Fullerton stations. CTA is currently reviewing the construction contractor's timeline for these stations and will hold a community meeting to provide details.

Signal system upgrades and electrical substation work from Kimball to Western began in fall 2004. The work involves installing signal equipment along the tracks, installing six new crossing gates and circuitry where the Brown Line crosses at street level at Spaulding, Kedzie, Albany, Sacramento, Francisco and Rockwell, and rehabilitating Kimball Tower where signals control switches and direct trains.

At Clark Junction ? the location where Brown, Purple and Red Line tracks merge just north of the Belmont station ? work is being done to install a new signal system from Armitage to Addison, provide signals for 14 rail crossovers and rehabilitate Clark Tower located at the junction.

As the project continues to move forward, CTA remains committed to staying within the budget and meeting the completion dates required. The project's Full Funding Grant Agreement with the federal government requires that the CTA complete the project by the end of 2009. In a separate agreement, the Federal Transit Administration requires that work to make the Fullerton station accessible be completed by the end of 2008.

The Brown Line capacity expansion project includes: the rehabilitation of 18 Brown Line stations; lengthening station platforms to accommodate eight rather than six-car trains; provide for station enhancements to meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and upgrade or replace traction power, signal and communication equipment.

Operating between downtown and the Northwest Side, the Brown Line was originally constructed in two phases, opening for service in 1900 and 1907. The line is the third busiest of CTA's rail lines, serving more than 66,000 customers each weekday, with 19 stations from Kimball on the north to the downtown Chicago Loop.

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