In a move that will help reduce slow zones and improve travel time for Purple Line customers, the Chicago Transit Board today selected a contractor to replace three aging viaducts along the line at Greenleaf, Dempster and Grove Streets in Evanston. CTA replaced Evanston’s Main Street viaduct in 2005 and Church Street viaduct in 2006.
“Infrastructure investments are paramount in a system as old as the CTA’s,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson. “Continuing the replacement of these viaducts is one example of the improvements CTA can implement if we had the funds required for capital investments. The agency has an unmet capital need of $10 billion to get to a state of good repair.”
The project involves replacing the concrete viaducts with new steel structures, as well as new abutments, retaining walls, foundations, and new waterproofing and drainage systems. The project also includes rail tie replacement, new landscaping and lighting enhancements under the bridges.
“These crumbling viaducts are more than 100 years old and have deteriorated over time with exposure to the elements and train vibrations, leading to reduced speeds for Purple Line trains,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Repairing the viaducts will allow us to remove the slow zones and speed travel for customers. The new structures also will provide a safer and more attractive environment for the community.”
Kiewit Infrastructure was selected as the contractor for the $10.3 million contract through a competitive bidding process. Funding for the project is provided by an Illinois Department of Transportation grant through the Regional Transportation Authority.
The Purple Line extends from the Linden station in Wilmette to the Howard terminal in Chicago where customers can make connections with Red and Yellow line trains.
Purple Line Express trains operate Monday through Friday during morning and afternoon rush periods offering non-stop service from Howard to Belmont, then making all stops to the Loop. The Purple Line is the sixth busiest rail line in the CTA system with a ridership of 10,923,229 in 2010.
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