Quinn keeps CTA promise: $646 million for Red Line Dan Ryan rehab, two station overhauls

More than two years ago, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Illinois Jobs Now bill, promising about $900 million in much-needed capital-repair cash for the CTA.

Now he's starting to follow through on that promise with Thursday's announcement of $646 million to repair and rebuild the Red Line and make much-needed improvements on the Purple Line.

From Mayor Emanuel's press release:

Today’s announcement from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now!  capital plan brings the total state investment to $702.4 million for the Red and Purple Lines to date. Combined with $255.5 million in federal funding and $44.1 million from the city, the total over $1 billion investment in the Red Line will rebuild sections of deteriorated tracks to eliminate slow zones, replace or repair aging stations, install new power systems to improve performance and upgrade a significant portion of the Purple Line. Construction starts in 2012 and will last three years.

Some highlights among the Red Line improvements are plans to replace the tracks between 18th and 95th streets and provide upgrades to stations between Cermak and 95th Streets. Currently, almost 35 percent of the Dan Ryan branch is limited to speeds of less than 35 mph, with almost 20 percent of the branch restricted to a top speed of 15 mph. Without the investment made by Governor Quinn today, more than 60 percent of the Dan Ryan branch would operate under slow zones in 2012.

Further north, the Wilson and Clark/Division stations, along with the surrounding track, will be rebuilt. The ventilation system will be upgraded on the underground portion of the Red Line through downtown Chicago. Three electrical substations will be upgraded to improve reliability and ensure that service levels can be maintained. In addition to the work on the Red Line, ties will be replaced on the Purple Line track between the Belmont and Linden stations, eliminating slow zones on the 24 percent of the express service that is forced to operate at a maximum of 35 mph or less.

This is great news for both sides of town. But there's still plenty of work to be done north of Addison on the Red Line. So that's the next challenge for our fearless leaders. Find a few billion dollars to fund the Red Line Modernization Project.



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  • This is good news, but I can't help to wonder why the Dan Ryan line, which is about about 40 years old, will now have gone through TWO major rehabs within the last few years, yet we will probably wait another good 10-15 years for the Red line North of Addison to have it's first ever rehab, parts of which are over 90 years old now. The stations are a disgrace. At Bryn Mawr station, the Southbound tracks/ties have sunk down into the mud so much so that you now have to step down into the train a good 6 inches and there is also a large slow zone in the area due to it. Talk about a tripping hazard!

    It would also be interesting to know just how much money they are spending on the Purple Line express tracks, especially since the structure North of Addison will eventually be torn down and rebuilt anyways. I know the Purple Line tracks are neglected and slow zoned, but those tracks are only used about a total of 30 hours per week and Purple line express ridership is just a fraction of the amount of people being delayed on Red. Its a shame that the CTA deferred maintenance to the point slow zone epidemics have become the rule and now we have a huge, expensive mess.

  • In reply to Matt:

    All of the Dan Ryan stations were fully rebuilt 6-7 years ago.
    It was bizarre to watch it as it took them forever to do it. One of the worst mistakes was the rehab of the 35th stop, because it was built with an auxiliary entrance/exit to 33rd St. so people could enter Sox Park from the bleacher side. But that Sox Park is gone, replaced with one that is on the south side of 35th. It would have been easier, better & I'll bet cheaper to have built a whole new station on the south side of 35th, with an auxiliary entrance & bridge where 36th St. would be.
    The worst was the electrical work, which went on for months. I never did figure out what that was about!
    It appeared that either they were making mistakes or constantly getting change orders.
    The same went on at 47th & Garfield.
    Plus they didn't make Garfield elevator accessible, which is just idiotic as the Dan Ryan Expwy. was being rebuilt at the same time which would have allowed them to alter the station entrance at the same time.

  • Okay, lets guess how much the over runs are going to be? And once they get the final bill, they will have to raise fares or cut employees again. Knowing CTA's horrible management skills this ought to be fun.

  • Scooter, I'm sure you recall we discussed early this year your wrong assertion the Dan Ryan branch was previously "fully rebuilt."

    Here's the post:


    That's the long version. Here's the Twitter version, which @CTA posted on its account yesterday in reply to a similar question:

    Link - http://twitter.com/#!/cta/status/132270490336231424
    "Is bigger than anything we’ve done; elim slow zns, trk wrk in prev proj was gen ltd to x-overs; whole route wasn’t rebuilt."

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Kevin, not to get personal, but I don't see why you are trying to deflect CTA's misrepresentations about what the CTA claimed it did in 2006, plus apparently Governor Quinn's hyperbole in the current press release (unless you are getting Molly's $150K to do her work for her).

    Since people foreswear reading what I post here, I suggest that you look at the chicagobus.org threads on "Budget Time" and "Red & Purple Modernization Project," especially where even Sam92 now questions redoing the stations, I point out that the substations were supposedly rebuilt in 2006, and I also point out that if there is any original source for what is supposedly being done, it is Quinn, who has repeatedly shown that he is basically a gasbag.

    I'm glad that the money held in escrow is finally being pledged to do something, but if this is like the 2006 project, or the platforms on the Brown Line, Quinn better be more concerned about getting the job done and done right this time, instead about minority hiring. I sure don't want to hear from whoever is the mayoral candidate in 2018 that there is still a $1 billion unfunded capital need for that stretch of the line. We'll all have to drink a lot of pop and booze to make up that capital shortfall.

    Finally, as @CTA proved (and I indicated yesterday), is that apparently Molly or someone else is being paid to tweet not only disinformation, but now without complete words.They can't say in 140 characters what was misrepresented in the 2006 Construction Report pdfs. Yet, you bought it as authoritative, and ignored the contradictions.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Here we go again!
    I ride south to Garfield.
    The 35th, 47th & Garfield platforms were totally rebuilt! I read that 63rd got an elevator, but I've not seen it as I don't go there.
    The entire track structure was rebuilt from where it enters the main Dan Ryan [about 29th St.] south to Garfield, except at the station platforms. I don't remember if they went south of Garfield for the track reconstruction. All the ballast was removed, new ties installed, I don't know if it was new rail or reused rail. The trains ran on a shoefly track built on the inner shoulder of the expressway.
    Stop telling me to ignore my lying eyes!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Since I already covered the apparent contradictions between this announcement and what CTA said they did in 2006, I won't that repeat here.

    On the other hand, your comment "Stop telling me to ignore my lying eyes!" did strike me, as relevant to subject of CTA trying to fool the public.

    Whether it is what you and many others saw in 2006, Huberman saying that the 4000 series buses were going to replace 6000s 4 for 3 when they were seen on LSD routes, and Rodriguez later said that Huberman was negotiating with the FTA to retire the NABIs, or Claypool lying about the 5000 cars not to be received until next year when people have seen them in the yards and on flatbed trailers on public streets, there seems to be a continuing course of conduct here.

    If Claypool really reads this, maybe he should get the message that deception by the CTA better end now.

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    In reply to jack:

    To answer Scooter, they definately did go south of Garfield with station rehabs (I remember that clearly when 95th's feeder routes were shuffled around for construction), they hit the crossovers with new ties and spot replacement here and there over the last year but the biggest question is what is left to upgrade at our stations down here when they did it 2006? The only thing I see is new elevators maybe and in that case, 87th, 63rd and Garfield would be the only ones to hit. And as far as slow zones are concerned, there should be no reason to for their return after this if they are truly rebuilding from the ground up this time.

  • Thanks for the source material Jack. I will take a look over the weekend.

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