Track rehabilitation project will provide customers a smoother, more reliable commute for years to come
The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $13 million contract for the Green Line West Track Renewal Project, a track improvement project on the Lake branch of the Green Line. It is one of the latest examples of the CTA’s work to provide smoother and more reliable commutes for train riders across the city and the latest project to improve service for Green Line customers.
The Green Line West Track Renewal Project is an important investment for the Green Line and the Austin neighborhood and Oak Park. It will upgrade track infrastructure between the Laramie and Harlem/Lake stations to provide Green Line riders smoother and more reliable commutes and prevent imminent slow zones from developing as infrastructure ages.
This Green Line investment follows a $20 million track modernization investment on the Green Line South that was completed in 2013 ahead of the full reconstruction of the Red Line South branch; the 2012 opening of a new Green/Pink Line station at Morgan that has complemented an economic development boom in the West Loop; and the 2015 opening of the Cermak-McCormick Place station that provides convenient access to the South Loop and McCormick Place.
“When we make an investment in public transit, we are also making an investment in the communities the CTA serves,” said CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson. “This Green Line project is the latest in an unprecedented number of investments Mayor Emanuel has made since 2011 and will allow CTA to better serve communities on the city’s West Side for years to come.”
“Modernizing CTA’s infrastructure is a critical part of having a world-class transit system,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “When infrastructure ages, maintaining safe and reliable service becomes more difficult and costly. This investment will allow us to continue to provide affordable, reliable service to the city’s West Side, where Green Line stations on the Lake branch had more than 9 million riders last year.”
The contract is being awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure Co., which submitted the lowest bid for the project. The work will involve the replacement of track ties on the Green Line west of Laramie station and other related track work, including new tie plates and fasteners, transposing of running rails at select curves and other rail work as well as some ballast replacement and surfacing work.
The work is a proactive effort to avoid the development of future slow zones in the area, which results in reduced reliability and increased travel times. The last major track renewal work along this 2.5-mile stretch of tracks occurred in the 1980s and more than 75 percent of the rail ties are approaching or have exceeded their useful life.
The work is expected to begin in March and will occur on weekends and during nights while trains are not in operation.
Details on the exact construction schedule are still being finalized. As with all large-scale projects, the CTA will strive to minimize impacts to service and the surrounding community.
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