CTA Names Contractor to Connect Red and Blue Line Tunnels

September 13, 2006
09/13/06

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $94.1 million construction contract to build connecting tunnels and tracks that will link the Red and Blue Line subways and connect them to the planned rapid transit station at 108 N. State Street, also referred to as Block 37. The contract also will cover modifications to the State Street and Dearborn Street subway platforms for installation of connecting track and the replacement of rail ties on adjacent Blue and Red Line track.

Development of the site at 108 N. State Street is being conducted by The Mills Corporation for the City of Chicago. The Mills development includes the new CTA subway station.

?The partnership with the City of Chicago and The Mills has made it possible to leverage our resources for an extraordinarily important infrastructure improvement that will provide a critical link for our entire system," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?This will be the CTA's first major tunneling project since the Dearborn Subway project was completed in 1951."

?Because the development site is between the Blue and Red Line subways, we have a unique opportunity to connect these busy lines and enhance options for subway operations," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?It will enable the CTA to grow transit and continue to grow ridership."

As part of the project, the contractor will build two short connecting tunnels and tracks that will link the existing Red and Blue Line subway tunnels with the new transit subway station. The contractor will accomplish the task by digging a trench using a technique called cut and cover, which was also used when two smaller CTA subways ? the Logan Square Subway and O'Hare Subway ? were constructed by the City of Chicago in 1970 and 1984, respectively.

CTA also plans to modify the fare control areas in the Red Line subway at Randolph/Washington, Washington/Madison, Madison/Monroe and Monroe/Adams; modify the continuous platforms north of Washington inside the Red and Blue Line subways to connect them to the new transit station; and replace approximately 4,000 rail ties in both subway tunnels as part of the contract.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and conclude in fall 2008. When the contractor's construction schedule is finalized, CTA will inform customers of how the work could potentially affect bus and rail service in the Loop.

Funding for the platform modifications, rail tie replacement, and tunnel and track construction will come from CTA capital funds generated from the issuance of capital grant receipt revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects throughout the CTA.

The overall cost of the transit center is estimated at
$213.3 million of which The Mills will pay $40.9 million. The remaining $172.4 million will be funded by the CTA and the City of Chicago. The CTA has allocated $130 million in capital funds generated from the issuance of revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects. The City of Chicago has allocated
$42.4 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue under an intergovernmental agreement specifically covering infrastructure expenses related to the track and tunnel connections.

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