CTA issues RFP for first phase of Red and Purple line project

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
image description
A rendering of the bypass to be built as part of the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization.
Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Authority issued a Final Request for Proposals to three contractors for Phase One of the Red and Purple Modernization Program (RPM).

The $2.1 billion RPM is the largest project in CTA’s history and the transit authority says it will significantly modernize, improve and increase rail service in Chicago for decades to come.

CTA issued a Request for Proposals last year and developed the Final RFP based on feedback received from the Draft RFP. The three pre-selected teams who will answer the Final RFP include Walsh Fluor Design-Build Team, Chicago Rail Constructors and Kiewit Infrastructure Company. CTA estimates a contract will be awarded by the end of 2018.

The multi-phase RPM plan will rebuild part of CTA’s Red and Purple lines, sections of which are more than a century old. CTA explains that the tracks, structures and stations are well past their useful lifespan and can no longer handle additional trains to meet the increasing demands of growing ridership – which is up 40 percent during the rush hours since 2008.

Phase One of RPM includes:

  • Reconstructing four of the oldest Red Line stations (Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr), making them fully accessible to people with disabilities, and completely reconstructing 1.3 miles of adjacent track structure.
  • Constructing a rail bypass north of the CTA Belmont station to unclog a 100-year-old junction where Red, Purple and Brown Line trains currently intersect—allowing CTA to significantly increase the number of trains it can run along the Red Line to reduce overcrowding and meet growing demand for transit service.

“We are pleased to be moving closer to building this important project on the Red Line, which is the backbone of Chicago and the CTA’s busiest rail line,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are well into a comprehensive process to find the most qualified builder to construct this project, which is one of the biggest modernization projects in CTA history.”

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