The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $94.3 million contract for the reconstruction of the Belmont and Fullerton stations, which are part of the Brown Line capacity expansion project. CTA received four bids from construction contractors through a competitive bidding process. Chicago-based FHP Tectonics Corporation was selected as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
The contract includes demolition of existing structures on the property, construction on new stationhouses, track renewal at each station to accommodate wider platforms and track realignment, and relocation of the historic stationhouses. Following contract approval, the construction contractor will prepare and submit a construction plan to CTA for approval. CTA will hold community meetings with residents and businesses near the stations to provide further construction details and timelines for the work. Station construction work at Belmont and Fullerton will begin later this year.
?The purpose of this project is to enhance the level of service to meet the demand on this overcrowded line and to make Brown Line stations accessible," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Reconfiguring the project into separate and distinct packages is proving to be a successful approach. Contracts for the signal and substation work were awarded late last year, and now the first contract for station construction is also being awarded. Because of the way the project was rescoped, rebundled and rebid, we remain on time and on budget."
?Customers who rely on the Brown Line can continue to do so during station construction," explained Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?CTA is working 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."
In May 2004, CTA received construction bids for the project that substantially exceeded the budget. The project was reorganized into several discrete pieces to help attract more competitive construction bids. Station renovation work was modified and grouped into five separate packages according to location to help reduce the overall cost of station construction.
The Belmont and Fullerton package is the first of five station construction packages to complete the competitive bidding process. Chicago, Sedgwick and Armitage will go out for bid today, June 9. The station construction package for Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell and Western is currently being reviewed by IDOT, one of the project's funding agencies, and will go out for bid once the review is complete.
Signal system upgrades and electrical substation work from Kimball to Western was successfully rebid, and work 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); upgrade or replace traction power, signal and communication equipment; and reduce the number of slow zones on the line.
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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