The Tribune's Getting Around column Monday noted that "the perennially cash-starved CTA is displaying a subtle change in attitude: Doomsday talk is out, replaced by a glass that, although leaky, is half full."
CTA President Forrest Claypool actually is being even more positive, as shown in a presentation he gave earlier this year to the Chicago chapter of the Construction Management Association of America.
When you see all that the CTA is doing to improve and rehab its tracks and stations, it really is impressive. Here are some of the details from that presentation:
"Renew Crews" are spending $25 million from savings found in materials and personnel to rehab 100 rail stations under the Station Renewal Program. the program features deep cleaning of interior and exterior station elements, graffiti removal, lighting and signage improvements, and other minor repairs. Scheduled for completion by winter of 2012.
A $1 billion investment in the Red Line, including:
- Track work on the Dan Ryan branch to eliminate slows zones, which currently afflict about 30 percent of that area. In 2013, all slow zones along this 10-mile stretch of track will be addressed as part of the Dan Ryan Track Renewal project, which will rebuild the tracks from just north of the Cermak/Chinatown station to the 95th/Dan Ryan station. As part of this same project, work also will include station improvements (lighting upgrades, painting, canopy repairs, bike racks, etc.) at the nine stations along the branch.
- The Red North Station Interim Improvements project, a $57 million "design-build" rehab of seven stations at the north end of the Red Line. CTA is integrating rehabilitation of stations with other amenities including IT and customer communication enhancements.
- The $150 million Wilson station reconstruction. The new transfer station will be fully accessible.
On the Blue Line, the CTA repaired slow zones and stations from Damen to Logan Square.
The Loop track renewal, a $33 million project scheduled for completion in spring of 2013.
Purple Line viaducts repair at Greenleaf, Dempster and Grove. Includes replacement of existing concrete viaducts with new steel bridge spans and rehab of existing retaining walls. Cost is $14 million.
Station rehab projects. Late last year CDOT and the CTA completed the rebuild of the Grand/State station on the Red Line for $67 million.
Next up is the Clark and Division station, which will include a new accessible entrance at LaSalle/Division. Construction on the $102 million project will begin this summer and end in 2014.
Construction will start in 2013 on a new station at Cermak on the Green Line. It's budgeted at $50 million.
A new, $75 million elevated station on Wabash Avenue at Washington Street on the Brown/Pink/ Green/Orange lines.
Finally, the Morgan Street station on the Pink and Green Lines will open sometime this fall.
Ya gotta admit, that's a lot of projects.