Three bidders shortlisted for €1.7bn Chicago rail project

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Conceptual rendering of Bryn Mawr stationhouse interior. Photo: Chicago Transit Authority.
Conceptual rendering of Bryn Mawr stationhouse interior. Photo: Chicago Transit Authority.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has shortlisted three qualified builders to submit proposals for a $2.1 billion (∼€1.7 billion) rail project.

The Red and Purple Modernisation Programme (RPM) is to be completed in multiple phases and will see part of CTA’s Red and Purple lines – some of which are more than a century old – rebuilt.

CTA said that the tracks, structures and stations are past their useful lifespan, and can no longer handle additional trains to meet the increasing demands of growing ridership – which is up 40 per cent during peak times since 2008.

The first phase of RPM will see four of the oldest Red line stations rebuilt: Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr, making them fully accessible to people with disabilities in the process. It also includes the reconstruction of 1.3 miles of adjacent track structure.

RPM Phase One will also see a rail bypass constructed 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.


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As part of a two-step procurement process, the three bidders selected by CTA to develop proposals to design and build the first phase of the project are:

  • Walsh Fluor Design-Build Team;
  • Chicago Rail Constructors;
  • and Kiewit Infrastructure Company.

CTA president Dorval Carter junior said: “We’re pleased to make good progress on getting closer to building this project and fulfilling our promise to improve rail service on the Red Line, our busiest line.

“It is critical that we find the most qualified builders in the industry to construct this project, which is one of the biggest modernisation projects in CTA history.”

CTA will now issue a draft request for proposals to invite the potential bidders to submit proposals on how they would design and build RPM Phase One.

CTA expects major construction of this project to begin in 2019.


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