Big CTA Red Line rehab project could start this year; 7 stations at north end subject of RFP

The CTA has solicited and accepted bids for a $57.4 million project to rehab seven of the nine Red Line rail stations from Jarvis to Lawrence. Excluded were Berwyn and Loyola.

I found the following details of the work to bid by contractors in a request for proposal that was posted early this month on the CTA’s website. It has since been removed. The RFP stated funding would come from the CTA, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Authority.

The scope of the construction work includes design and construction services for the rehabilitation of the following stations:

  1. Lawrence
  2. Argyle
  3. Bryn Mawr
  4. Thorndale
  5. Granville
  6. Morse
  7. Jarvis

The “general scope” includes:

  • Track level: Trackbed slab and parapet wall ballast retainer waterproofing over viaducts, station houses, and adjacent CTA rental properties.
  • Platform deck structure and foundation replacement
  • Platform fixtures, furnishings and canopy improvements
  • Station exterior site improvements
  • Building envelope renovation
  • Interior configuration improvement and finish replacement
  • New utility services and rooms
  • Viaduct structural repairs (excludes Lawrence)
  • Cosmetic viaduct repairs and coating

The contractor must achieve substantial completion of all work on or before Feb. 28, 2013, with 50% of the work completed no later than Aug. 31, 2013 2012.

Track access

  • Tracks 1 and 2 will be out of service two separate weekends from Granville to Wilson from 10 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m Monday.
  • Tracks 1 and 2 will be out of service two separate weekends from Jarvis to Granville from 10 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m Monday.
  • Also, Track 2 will be out of service at various times in various areas on weekends and weeknights.

Station closures

  • Each station may be closed for one period of up to 42 consecutive calendar days in order to perform accelerated station rehab work.
  • No more than four stations may be closed at the same time.
  • No two adjacent stations can be closed at the same time.

All bids were due Jan. 17. There’s no indication in the request for proposal about when the work is supposed to start. But methinks they better get going is they expect to finish by Feb. 28 next year.

A CTA spokesperson said she expects the CTA to announce the winning bidder and seek approval from the agency’s board during the Feb. 8 meeting. She also said no final plans have been made regarding proposed station closures during the construction work “as the planning and public processes continue.”

To me, this bid package indicates that the CTA already has decided to move ahead with Basic Modernization with Transfer Stations, rather than the full renovation with all new structure and stations. Since they are removing and replacing the tracks they may even be able to expand the platforms a bit, though maybe not to the full 14 feet shown on the display boards. No elevators are included in this RFP.

UPDATE: Please see this post for the CTA’s clarification that this project is a “facelift” and not part of the long-term solution.

Big hat tip to Patrick B. for help on this.


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  • I would think they would have to make these ADA accessible given the scope of the work you described. It definitely will be nice to get upgrades at all these stations, stores and viaducts, as I live in this neighborhood.

  • In reply to chris:

    See my comment below; like with whoever posted the regulations on the North & Clybourn station, they might not be doing the requisite amount of work. If they were, Rahm and Gabe Klein (yes I meant it) would have held a news conference on the Morse platform.

  • Technically, they haven't accepted any bid until such time as the Board says they have. The confirmation would be it (a) coming up on the Committee on Finance, Audit & Budget agenda, incorporated by reference in the Regular Board Meeting agenda, and (b) eventually in the Vendor database.

    What the spokesperson told you is probably far enough along, given the rubber stamp nature of this board, but remember that New Flyer announced that it got a contract for 900 buses with a base order of 140. I haven't seen anything in the 4208-4347 range on Bus Tracker, because they didn't.

    And, if, as I predicted, this kills anything as the "fix" RPM option, why are the Feb. open houses still on the schedule? Or is this like the 2005 Dan Ryan project that the scope is so meager that it doesn't really fix anything? Indicating that they are only doing stuff like putting on sealer and not installing elevators indicates the latter. Maybe the journalist in you can find out.

  • Jack wrote: "Maybe the journalist in you can find out."

    I asked, but CTA won't comment on the RPM options, or anything else, except to confirm that the CTA will seek approval of the contractor at next week's board meeting.

  • More idiocy from the Gang That Can't Run A Railroad.
    No money should be put into Thorndale. Close & demolish it & build an entrance to Granville at Glenlake.
    Close both Berwyn & Argyle & build an all new station at Foster, with an entrance at Berwyn.
    There are far too many stations on the North Side compared to anywhere else, except the South Side Green Line from Indiana south to Cottage Grove.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    That makes sense to me. I'd much prefer they combine Argyle and Berwyn than getting rid of Lawrence. It would be nice if they built a real station there again. But just because there are a lot of stations, doesn't mean they're not needed. The area that this runs through is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city, with lots of high rise buildings.

  • Well Scooter, I guess you don't live near Thorndale, Berwyn, or Argyle.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Dr. Bob Hartley did, but he used the Isabella station, which was closed.

    The point that the stations on the north side are too close and not near major cross streets (except for Bryn Mawr, and maybe Loyola is as close as one can get to Devon) is valid. At least during the Belcaster days and rebuilding the Green Line, they said that this is not rapid transit. There was a semblance of rapid transit during AB service, but not now.

    Besides, Dr. Hartley's neighbors can take the 147 bus, which is sometimes faster.

    But since you couldn't get the real story from the CTA spokesperson (no big surprise in that), there probably isn't the money to do much more than what the community did at Argyle, which certainly only serves those who paid for the pagoda. If they can't walk from Lawrence, maybe stations ought to be built on the Blue Line at Bryn Mawr and Austin, Nagle, Sayre/Talcott, Oriole, Canfield, and Dee.

  • In reply to jack:

    Ha! I had never heard of Isabella and thought you were kidding at first. But apparently, though Hartley lived in Edgewater (5901 N. Sheridan to be exact), it showed him using the Isabella station, which was way up in Evanston, almost to Linden, and demolished in 1974! And that was only part of his geographically inconsistent commute.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    If on the way home, I'm going to Dominick's on Broadway, I do use Thorndale, but a Glenlake exit would work just as well.
    Any station platform where the entrance/exit is at only one end just makes it a crowded & possibly dangerous situation when there's a lot of people there.
    Then, you try to go up the stairs to catch a SB train in the afternoon rush, when a few dozen people are going down the stairs there & the damn escalator isn't working, but your train is coming.
    Loyola is so bad that on NB trains, people in the first car get up to the doors when the train leaves Thorndale! There are often large crowds on the SB platform waiting for the next train just at the top of the escalator.
    Loyola used to have an entrance/exit on the east side of Sheridan, but the usual Gang Of Idiots running the CTA, not only closed it, they actually concreted over the opening in the platform so it can't be reopened without great cost!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The Loyola Red Line stop is actually undergoing major renovations later this year:

    Believe me, I can't wait.

  • The RFP as written is compatible with the later addition of elevators, at least at some of the stations. With a new concrete platform at Morse, for instance, the unused stairwell at the south end of the platform could house an elevator, providing unimpeded access to the south end of the platform. Several of the other stations have end-of-platform stairwells that could be converted in a similar way.

    That work would presumably be part of the much more expensive (and badly needed) rehab of the embankments and tracks, so that our trains can run faster. It will be great when the Express trains finally live up to their name.

  • Was surprised that there was no mention of any work at the Berwyn (Edgewater) stop.

    Apparently most of those making ridiculous comment to close Berwyn and Argyle and and construct a new station at Foster have no idea of the number of bus routes that originate and terminate in this area at Berwyn, plus # 36 Broadway.

  • In reply to JackF66:

    You are right that Berwyn isn't on the above list.

    As to whether it should be a stop, there might be an argument that Berwyn is a better place to stage buses and blow exhaust in the air, but it certainly isn't a major cross street, as indicated that it shrinks one block east of the station.

  • Wait, am I misreading something?

    "The contractor must achieve substantial completion of all work on or before Feb. 28, 2013, with 50% of the work completed no later than Aug. 31, 2013."

    To me, "substantial completion of all work" is more than "50% of the work" and I'd expect to see it later in the timeline. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the terminology?

    And I do understand that it's a moot point, and that in fact we'll be lucky if my as-yet-unconceived grandchildren live to see the work done.

  • In reply to rastewart:

    Substantial completion of the work is completing the work, except perhaps for punch list items.

    So, basically, 50% is not 98%.

  • In reply to rastewart:

    But you are right that that the dates seem reversed.

  • Or is one of the dates wrong. Perhaps the substantial completion date should be Feb. 28, 2014.

  • Yes, one of the dates is wrong. The actual RFP reads "...substantial completion of 50% of contract work by no later than August 31, 2012" and "substantial completion of all contract work by February 28, 2013" This project will move VERY fast.

  • In reply to tetsuooo:

    Oops. You are right tesuooo. I just fixed the August date. Should be 2012, not 2013. Thanks.

  • Thanks for your thorough work, Kevin. I admire your blog.

  • In reply to Ryan Sinwelski:

    Thanks Ryan. I really appreciate that.

  • If Grand, Jackson, Lake, Roosevelt Red Line Subway stops have received station renovations why has the platform level of North/Clybourn and Clark/Division, Harrison/State Monroe/State not yet received matching renovations. Clark/Division and North/Clybourn (platform level) subway stations are among the worst. North/Clybourn has washers holding tiles to the wall as well as 3 different types of tiles. While I know Clark/Division is slated for renovation I don't understand why they only fixed the mezzanine at North/Clybourn and not the platform level.

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