In my recent interview with CTA President Forrest Claypool, he called fixing slow zones one of his top priorities, and said he was "working feverishly" to find the dollars to get that job done.
He made some progress on that front on Friday with the announcement of a new $10.3 million contract to repair Purple Line viaducts at Greenleaf, Dempster and Grove streets in Evanston.
“These crumbling viaducts are more than 100 years old and have deteriorated over time with exposure to the elements and train vibrations, leading to reduced speeds for Purple Line trains,” Claypool said in a statement. “Repairing the viaducts will allow us to remove the slow zones and speed travel for customers. The new structures also will provide a safer and more attractive environment for the community.”
Funding for this project, awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure, comes from an Illinois Dept. of Transportation grant through the RTA. According to the CTA, the project "involves replacing the concrete viaducts with new steel structures, as well as new abutments, retaining walls, foundations, and new waterproofing and drainage systems. The project also includes rail tie replacement, new landscaping and lighting enhancements under the bridges."
Look for more on my interview with Claypool a bit later.