CTA Issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) to Build New Red Line Extension Track Structure and Four Stations

September 14, 2023

Agency expects to award contract in 2024 for contractor to design and build the project that will extend the Red Line 5.6 miles from 95th Street to 130th Street, including four new, fully accessible stations and park-and-ride facilities

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is taking the next major step in the transformational Red Line Extension Project (RLE), the largest capital construction project in the agency’s history. The design and construction of the RLE will provide long-awaited and much-needed connection to jobs, education, commerce, and opportunity on the Far South Side, while also serving as a catalyst for economic development that benefits the entire City of Chicago.

The CTA is moving to the next stage in its selection of a contractor to design and build the $3.6 billion rail line extension. Today, the agency announced that it has issued its Request for Proposals (RFP) to three contracting teams pre-selected by CTA earlier this year that demonstrated the ability to design and build the Red Line Extension in a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process begun last year.

The Red Line Extension Project includes:

  • A 5.6 mile heavy rail extension from the 95th/Dan Ryan Terminal to 130th Street;
  • Four new, fully-accessible rail stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue and 130th Street;
  • Multimodal connections at stations to include bus, bike, pedestrian, and park & ride facilities; plus
  • A new railyard and maintenance shop near 120th Street that will contribute to improved reliability and service across the entire Red Line, which will be delivered under a separate project contract.  

“Today we moved yet another step closer to providing residents of the Far South Side with access to rail service by moving to phase two of the procurement process. In this phase, we issue the RFP to the qualified firms -- one of which will ultimately build the Red Line Extension,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This follows the recent great news of a nearly $2 billion pledge from the federal government to fund the project. The Red Line Extension Project represents equity for the underserved South Side community, giving them a rail line that extends to the city limits.”

CTA’s release of the RFP to the three pre-selected contracting teams – FH Paschen, Ragnar Benson, Milhouse and BOWA Joint Venture; Kiewit Infrastructure; and Walsh VINCI Transit Community Partners – follows the agency’s issuance of a Draft RFP to the same group earlier this year. Feedback from the teams during the Draft RFP process guided the creation of the RFP, which will improve the contractors’ ability to bid on the project and for CTA to hire the best contracting team for the RLE project.

The contracting teams’ proposals will be considered on a variety of criteria, including experience, price, workforce programs, inclusion of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified firms and other minority owned firms in the project, and other factors. CTA expects major construction of this project to begin in 2025 pending federal approvals, and anticipates beginning pre-construction work in 2024 that will include property demolition and advanced utility relocation work.

The RLE project is expected to create 6,200 direct construction jobs. CTA has hosted numerous outreach events to encourage participation by DBE-certified and other minority businesses that wish to participate in the project to meet the DBE goals that will be assessed. Additionally, the project RFP will include a section that requires proposers to describe their plans to reach out to the DBE community and their strategies to meet or exceed the workforce goals that will be established for the project.

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



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