October 14, 2004

The Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today approved a $45.5 million construction contract for Aldridge - Mass, AJV (A Joint Venture) to upgrade the signal system as part of the CTA's Brown Line Capacity Expansion and Clark Junction Projects. The state of the art signal system will provide the CTA and its customers greater service reliability and enhanced flexibility in service scheduling. Signal systems control the movement of trains throughout the CTA's 222.6 miles of service track, as well as in rail yards.

Aldridge will rehabilitate the Brown Line's signal system from Kimball to Western, which 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 from where signals control switches and direct trains. The tower is located at the Kimball station on the Brown Line.

At Clark Junction ? the location where Brown, Purple and Red Line tracks merge on the city's North Side just north of the Belmont station ? the contractor will install a new signal system from Armitage to Addison, provide signals for 14 rail crossovers and rehabilitate Clark Tower located at the junction.

"Installing a modern signal system on the Brown Line is a key element of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion project," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Rehabilitating the Brown Line is a key investment in our infrastructure and is critical to the continued development of a healthy transit system for the region."

Construction on both projects is expected to begin before the end of the year. Work at Clark Junction is expected to conclude late 2006 and signal and grade crossing work between Kimball and Western is expected to wrap up by summer 2007.

Funding for the contract is provided by the Federal Transit Administration ? both Full Funding Grant Agreement funds and formula funds, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

?We are grateful to the region's U.S. Congressional delegation, which has been very successful in securing capital funds to continue investment in CTA's infrastructure," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. "I am hopeful that the Illinois General Assembly will help fix the region's operating funding so that CTA can fully utilize its improving infrastructure."

Without the continued capital investment in the CTA's infrastructure, the system would fall into a state of disrepair and jeopardize the vital components that make public transportation safe, reliable and convenient.

Earlier this year, the CTA received a Full Funding Grant Agreement from the federal government to expand the capacity on the Brown Line. The $530 million Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project is the CTA's largest capital improvement project and will:

Expand the line's overall ridership capacity by lengthening station platforms to accommodate eight rather than six-car trains;

Rehabilitate rail stations;

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 or eliminate slow zones.

The Brown Line is the third busiest line in the CTA rail system (behind the Red and Blue Lines). The line serves more than 42,000 customers on an average weekday, close to 23,000 customers on Saturday and just under 15,000 customers on Sunday.

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