The Chicago Transit Board voted today to repackage and rebid construction work for the Chicago Transit Authority's Brown Line Capacity Expansion project. The project includes the rehabilitation of 18 stations to allow berthing of eight-car trains and make the line ADA accessible. In addition, the project will enhance the Brown Line's power distribution system, signal and communication system and improve operational flexibility at key locations.
The Brown Line project was previously advertised and bids for the construction portion were opened on May 5, 2004. Two responses were submitted and both amounts exceeded CTA's construction budget. The CTA has previously reported publicly that its total project budget, including items such as insurance, design, engineering and property acquisition, as well as construction, is $530 million. The bids the CTA received for the construction portion of the project were for $420.5 million and $541.2 million.
"The CTA is committed to bringing this project in on time and on budget as with our Blue Line project," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The bids we received did not get us where we need to be. We recognize that part of the problem may be the size and complexity of the project, so rather than bid it out as one large, lump-sum job, we intend to break the work into smaller pieces. By organizing the bid package into several discrete pieces, we hope to attract more bidders at more competitive prices."
Kruesi said the details were still being worked out but that he expected separate bids would be sent out for electrical substation work, signal work including Clark Junction (where the Brown Line, Red Line and Purple Line Express merge) and also for stations.
?While the CTA is committed to bringing its system into a good state of repair, we must do it in a fiscally responsible manner," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?This project is not just an investment in improved stations, but also an investment in the communities the Brown Line serves."
Kruesi said the re-advertisement would not affect the project deadline, as the repackaging would allow for flexibility in the way work is scheduled. The project's Full Funding Grant Agreement with the federal government requires that the CTA complete the project by the end of 2009. Kruesi stated that there is a 2008 deadline for accessibility work planned for the Fullerton Station.
The CTA does not yet have a final schedule for release of all the new bids but expects to release packages for Clark Junction/signal work and substations early this summer. Prior to advertising the first of the new packages, a project overview will be conducted for potential bidders. Once scheduled, the date of this overview will be posted in the purchasing section of the CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com.# # #