CTA Issues Request for Proposals for Red Line Extension and Four New Stations

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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CHICAGO – The Chicago Transit Authority has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Red Line Extension and four stations.

The Chicago Transit Authority has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Red Line Extension and four stations. The agency said that it should award a contract next year “to design and build the project that will extend the Red Line 5.6 miles from 95th Street to 130th Street, including four new, fully accessible stations and park-and-ride facilities.”

The Red Line Extension (RLE) design and construction provides not only jobs and opportunities (including 6,200 direct construction jobs), but also a connection to centers of economy and commerce on the Far South Side. The agency commented that the extension will serve “as a catalyst for economic development that benefits the entire City of Chicago.”

The next stage for the Transit Agency is to select a contractor to design and build the extension, currently projected to cost $3.6 billion. Last Thursday, the CTA announced a Request for Proposals “to three contracting teams pre-selected by CTA earlier this year that demonstrated the ability to design and build the Red Line Extension in a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process begun last year.”

The Red Line Extension currently includes a 5.6-mile extension from 95th/Dan Ryan Terminal to 130th Street, four new rail stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street, multimodal connections at stations to include pedestrian, bike, bus and park & ride facilities, and a new railyard and maintenance shop near 120th Street to improve service across the entire Red Line. This railyard and maintenance shop will be delivered under a “separate project contract.”

President of the CTA, Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said: “Today we moved yet another step closer to providing residents of the Far South Side with access to rail service by moving to phase two of the procurement process. In this phase, we issue the RFP to the qualified firms – one of which will ultimately build the Red Line Extension. . . This follows the recent great news of a nearly $2 billion pledge from the federal government to fund the project. The Red Line Extension Project represents equity for the underserved South Side community, giving them a rail line that extends to the city limits.”

The agency’s release of the Request for Proposals to FH Paschen, Ragnar Benson, Milhouse and BOWA Joint Venture; Kiewit Infrastructure; and Walsh Vinci Transit Community Partners “follows the agency’s issuance of a Draft RFP to the same group earlier this year.” The feedback from these teams during that process helped to guide the Request for Proposals, “which will improve the contractors’ ability to bid on the project and for CTA to hire the best contracting team for the RLE project.”

The contracting teams’ proposals are considered on several criteria, “including experience, price, workforce programs, inclusion of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified firms and other minority owned firms in the project, and other factors.” The agency said it expects major construction to start in 2025 pending federal approvals, and pre-construction work should start next year. This will “include property demolition and advanced utility relocation work.” CTA stated that it hosted outreach events to encourage DBE-certified and other minority businesses’ participation in the project. Moreover, the RFP includes a section “that requires proposers to describe their plans to reach out to the DBE community and their strategies to meet or exceed the workforce goals that will be established for the project.”

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