New wooden platforms at CTA Brown Line stations showing signs of wear

I saw this in my Facebook feed and had to share it with you. It's from a Better Government Association report with the Chicago News Cooperative:

Wooden L platforms that were rebuilt over the past few years as part of the $530 million Brown Line renovation are already deteriorating at some stations.

Officials with the Chicago Transit Authority began noticing the decaying wood in August 2008 — two years after the first stations were completed, the C.T.A. said.

Since then, about $300,000 has been spent replacing an estimated 10,000 square feet of Southern yellow pine decking at eight Brown Line stations — Chicago, Sedgwick, Armitage, Diversey, Montrose, Rockwell, Francisco and Kedzie — according to records and interviews.

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  • I wondered about this when they first put that wood in. I'm from a marine construction family, so I'm somewhat familiar with lumber and how it should hold up in places exposed to water and the elements. It didn't look like they used treated lumber, and it didn't even look like the contractors used proper spacing between the planks to allow for the wood to swell. But I grew up in Maryland, so I figured maybe different methods of treatment and installation work better here. It appears maybe I was right though.

  • We have a thread going on this topic on EveryBlock:

    http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/aug16-deteriorating-cta-platforms-4186225/

    It has been 9 months since the CNC article and the platforms are a mess.

    If your platform is deteriorating, please contact the CTA at feedback@transitchicago.com or 1-888-YOURCTA.

    Thank you!

  • I took pictures this morning at Francisco to send to you. The platform is a mess. I sent the pics.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Thanks Cheryl. I just posted your photos.

  • We have a thread going on this topic on EveryBlock:

    http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/aug16-deteriorating-cta-platforms-4186225/

    If your platform is deteriorating, please contact the CTA at feedback@transitchicago.com or 1-888-YOURCTA.

    Thank you!

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    The Chicago News Cooperative contacted me about the problems because they saw the many emails I've sent to the CTA about the problem in the FOIA request. The CTA is just blowing it off. The will repair boards here and there but the same boards I've complained about at Kedzie a year and a half ago are still rotting. The only mass improvement to any of the new stations was after the Kedzie crossing accident. The CTA had no choice in replacing things. They did use what looked like treated wood with the substructure so that's something.

  • In reply to Ryan Szekeres:

    Of course, the CTA will blow you off. Despite having spent $530 million (and the original Frank Kruesi saying that the project had to be scaled back because the original bid was way over engineers' estimates), the current Forrest Kruesi Claypool will just trot out Noelle Gaffney to say that this only adds to the unfound $8 billion needed to put the system into a state of good repair.

    No different than asking for another $400 million to fix the Dan Ryan Red Line after they spent $250 million supposedly to fix it.

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    In reply to jack:

    Didn't an earlier post clear up the fact that this project is CLEARLY different from the earlier Dan Ryan project with a whole differnent goal? Last one was focused on power and signaling. This one is more focused on Tie and Track Renewal to eliminate slow zones

  • In reply to Sam92:

    That's what Noelle told Kevin in 2011, but does not jive with the Construction Report in 2007. So, just keep drinking the Kool Aid.

    Note that I said "supposedly."

  • In reply to Sam92:

    I should have also pointed out that by bringing this up, you are masking that CTA has a history of doing a Homer Simpson (or Sherry Bobbins) half a$$ed job on its projects. It accepts NABI buses, needs more money after the Red Line falls apart again, and now has rotten platforms on the Brown Line, 2-4 years after a rehab.

    Even with other stuff getting old, there is now an explanation for why the unfunded capital need never shrinks, despite money being applied to it, one that with this record, symes and I think should be investigated, rather than taking Noelle at her word.

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    In reply to jack:

    I'm not masking the other jobs. All I'm saying is that the 2007 report does jive with what she said. The 10 crossovers were replaced, the signal system upgraded, a little track work from Cermak to 47th. No where in the reports does it say anything about replacing all Track, Ties, Ballast and Drainage from 18th to 95th like the new project does.

  • In reply to Sam92:

    It did mention removing slow zones between Cermak and 47th. Go back and read it.

    Are those slow zones back now?

    Parsing, parsing. Bill Clinton didn't have sex with that woman, Lewinsky, either.

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    In reply to jack:

    I read it. Again, nothing about drainage replacement along with it like the future Dan Ryan rehab

  • In reply to Sam92:

    Let me also put it this way. Your car don't start. It is towed in and the Kruesi garage changes your oil. It still doesn't start, but it, under new management the garage says you needed an alternator, but we don't have one.

    Are you going to say that, you don't mind, you needed an oil change anyway? I bet not.

    Yet, that is what the CTA got you to bite.

    For that matter, explain why there is a structural slow zone now on the Pink Line near Cermak and Kostner. You can't say that that structure wasn't completely replaced within the past 10 years.

    The answer is the Homer Simpson one, which apparently prevails throughout the CTA culture.

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    In reply to jack:

    Well, I'm speaking for the Dan Ryan as someone who rode through it throughout the project and can say that the reports rang true. That wasn't a Homer Simpson job so far. I don't see any power or signal slow zones (which were replaced). This is going to be focused on the under lying track bed and ballast which were not touched at all. I do agree with you on other things such as the Pink Line, Brown and Blue Line. The people they hire for those just did the bare minimum.

  • In reply to Sam92:

    There's obviously no convincing you. Therefore, enjoy your ride through the slow zones, including the ones that were supposedly fixed between Cermak and 47th.

    Take my word for it--CTA will never have this part of the line up to its rated 55 mph speed, especially given this logic. I'm glad you are satisfied.

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    In reply to jack:

    You got me with the Cermak slow zones however. Also, the subway has new slow zones in the areas that were just done 1 1/2 years ago. Here it seems like they are going for price rather than quality work and that's gonna cost them more in the long run

  • I would wager at the bottom of it all you will find a private person (corporation or flesh and blood) that sold the peoples representatives a bill of goods and ran laughing to an offshore bank to protect their profits from having to pay for their poor and possible criminal advice. One Nation Consuming All.

  • In reply to symes4u:

    Since federal New Start money was associated with the Brown Line, undoubtedly including the platforms, some federal government auditor should look into this, not to mention Patrick Fitzgerald.

  • Good luck in any of this happening. Patrick Fitzgerald is only interested in cases where he can make a nice public appearance and look like a god. This is shameful and criminal.

  • In reply to livefreechicago:

    I guess you are saying that going after the original Kruesi, now that he is retired, isn't worth it.

    Unless you are disparaging the feds for going after Ryan, Blago, Rezko, Levine, et. al.

  • Did everyone see the article in the Chicago Tribune this morning?
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/traffic/ct-met-getting-around-0829-20110829,0,2676290,full.column

    Or the NBC news?
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/No-Good-Wood-Brown-Line-Needs-Repair.html

    Or the CBS news?
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/08/29/report-wood-already-rotting-at-new-cta-brown-line-platforms/

    The Francisco platform is going to be completely replaced this year. Hooray!

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