CTA honored for Dearborn track renewal project; wins two other awards

Dearborn subway track work.JPG

Workers repair track in the Blue Line Dearborn subway. (CTA photo)

The track repair and replacement project in the Blue Line Dearborn subway tunnel received an honors award for “exceptional engineering achievement” in the transportation category from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Here is an excerpt from the CTA press release:

The Dearborn Subway Track Renewal Project rehabilitated over 39,000
feet of track on the second-busiest of CTA’s rail lines. As part of the
project, crews replaced nearly seven miles of running rail, contact
rail and ties–including all wooden ties dating back to the 1950s–which
were replaced with concrete. In addition, six thousand feet of ballasted
track in the subway was replaced with a direct fixation concrete slab
track system. CTA began work in April 2009 and the work was completed in
March 2010.

The $88 million project was one of the first construction projects paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, aka “stimulus funding.”

Two Metros awards for CTA. The Chicago Transit Authority won first place as the best transit system in the Americas, besting New York City’s MTA, Sao Paulo’s METRO, and the STM in Montreal.
For this award, judges considered:

  • Network coverage, integration with other modes of transport, frequency and efficiency of service
  • Customer service levels, customer feedback and value for money
  • Overall condition and amenities, including levels of access, safety and security
  • High levels of reliability and high performance standards
  • Technological innovation
  • Environmental considerations and contributions

The CTA won a second place Metros award for “most innovative use of
technology.” Metro de Madrid earned first place in the category.

Congrats to the CTA!


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  • The first shows what can be done with a properly targeted use of grant money.

    The second must be total fiction. I don't know what "metros" they compared the CTA with, but such things as "Overall condition and amenities, including levels of access, safety and security" can't be true, especially given unresolved issues as the north main falling apart, no action in 40 years on the south Dan Ryan extension, continued slow zones, ruffians in the trains and on the stairways, the report that many of the stations were not pedestrian friendly, etc. Network coverage can't be that good, given that it is a mostly downtown-oriented system, you can't buy a transfer on the bus, and service was cut back in 2010.

    Maybe this is an award for the "tallest little person" (to be politically correct) or Highland, Indiana boasting that it is "Indiana's largest town," but I don't see anything in the latter for which to be proud.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I provided a link to the Metros site and noted in my post above who CTA beat to win the award. New York City is not Highland, Ind.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I didn't say that it was.

    Apparently NYC needs a MTA Tattler, if it is more f.u.ed than CTA.

    Of course, since some NY blogs say that "well now we can track what buses are left" at least CTA deserved the third award.

    But if Rodriguez is going to use award #2 to get another job, good luck to him. If Emanuel had to go to Rochester N.Y. to get a school superintendent, maybe Rodriguez can get a job sweeping buses at the RGRTA.

  • In reply to jack:

    I seriously doubt Rodriguez will be CTA president at the end of this year. And I suspect he knows that.

  • In reply to jack:

    I just took two week-long business trips to New York in Feb and March. Let me tell you, the MTA is far more messed up than the CTA. Half the time the trains were running on the wrong tracks, stations were closed without warning and without explanation (or signage!), and TWICE when I was riding the subway the conductor announced that there was a "broken rail ahead so hold on tight." Yeah, ok.

    Not to mention the MTA operators screaming at passengers to "get their d*mn *sses on the train".

    Chicago's transit system is far more professional and well-run than New York's and definitely deserved this award. After having to navigate Manhattan on the subway, and living in Chicago and using the El exclusively, it was no competition - Chicago wins, hands down.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I'm waiting for your comeback to Ispeakthetruth.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    It was in post #3.

  • In reply to jack:

    I love that the wooden ties were original to the subways original construction. I doubt they'll win any awards for infrastructure investment. Or the track inspectors resorting to writing poor track conditions on the actual subway walls due to corrupt management. CTA FTW

  • In reply to thrulateevening:

    The track inspectors were during the Kruesi years. Kreusi was the darling of many posters on the old CTA Tattler, and even this one. Those posters also said that the track inspectors were scapegoats. Not to me, though.

    I'm sure that the NTSB report on the track inspectors was the straw that finally got him forced out.

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