CTA Identifies Bidders for Historic Red Line Extension Project

May 12, 2023

CTA will select the most-qualified contracting team to build the transformational RLE project and the agency will work to meet the goal of DBE, minority firm participation

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) continues to advance the transformational Red Line Extension (RLE) project with the announcement that it has selected three prequalified teams to submit proposals on the transformative project to extend rail service to Chicago’s Far South Side.

The $3.6 billion RLE project will extend the Red Line from the existing southern terminal at 95th Street to 130th Street. As part of this project, four new, fully-accessible rail stations will be added, plus a new a modern, efficient railcar storage yard and maintenance facility that will benefit users of the entire Red Line. The 5.6-mile heavy rail line extension will provide long-awaited and much needed connection to jobs, education, commerce, and opportunity, while also serving as a catalyst for economic development that benefits the entire City of Chicago.

“Today we move closer to providing Chicago residents with an extended and improved commute on the Red Line, our busiest line, by selecting the best and most qualified firms to ultimately build this dream and make it a reality,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This historic project represents equity for the underserved South Side community by finally giving them a rail line that extends to the city limits.”

In October of last year, CTA issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) asking firms to submit their qualifications. After considering a pool of potential candidates, CTA selected the most qualified teams that have demonstrated the ability to design and build the rail extension. The three entities selected are: FH Paschen, Ragnar Benson, Milhouse and BOWA Joint Venture; Kiewit Infrastructure; and Walsh VINCI Transit Community Partners. These entities are representative of a variety of local, national and international businesses.

This selected pool of candidates will move into the next phase of the competitive procurement process and CTA will decide which contracting team will ultimately be chosen to design and build the RLE project based on their submitted proposals. Project proposals will be due early 2024 with an expected execution by the end of 2024.

The contracting teams’ proposals will be considered on a variety of criteria, including experience, price, diversity outreach plans, and other factors. CTA expects major construction of this project to begin in late 2025, and is dependent on securing full project funding.

The RLE project is expected to create 2,500 direct and indirect construction jobs annually. The Final RFP will include aggressive workforce goals and will require significant participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified firms and career-seekers from underrepresented communities and economically disadvantaged areas. In alignment with CTA’s goals, the RLE project will help strengthen economic prospects for members of the surrounding communities – both through career and business/contracting opportunities.

CTA will be hosting numerous outreach events leading up to the start of project work to encourage participation by DBE-certified firms and other minority owned firms that wish to participate in the project to meet the DBE goals that will be assessed. CTA will also host various outreach events to connect career-seekers with resources and opportunities in the construction industry.  Firms and individuals that are interested can learn more here: www.transitchicago.com/diversity-programs/

For more information on the RLE project, visit transitchicago.com/rle.


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