CTA seeks contractor bids for $203 million Wilson station project

The CTA has formally invited contractors to bid on the $203 million reconstruction of the Wilson Street station. Work on the station is expected to begin this fall, with completion scheduled for 2016.

The contractor selected for the Wilson project will be responsible for the reconstruction of a new stationhouse, construction of two auxiliary entrances and the restoration of the 1923 terra cotta facade and clock tower at the former station entrance located at the northwest corner of Wilson and Broadway.

As the architectural renderings in the photos show, the new station design features contemporary architecture including steel framed, translucent canopies and a striking, glass-enclosed entrance that will serve as the main station entrance on the south side of Wilson Avenue.  According to the CTA’s website, the current scope of work includes:

  • Service Transfer Point: the new station will feature two island platforms to allow convenient cross-platform transfers between Red Line and Purple Line Express service – making Wilson the only transfer station between the Howard and Belmont stations.
  • Improved Access: three station entrances/exits will be available to improve customer convenience and to capture more riders:
    • Main Entrance: south side of Wilson Avenue.
    • Auxiliary Entrance: north side of Wilson Avenue.
    • Auxiliary Entrance: at Sunnyside Avenue, to serve Target and Aldi customers.
  • Accessibility for Customers with Disabilities: the new stationhouse will be accessible to customers with disabilities with the addition of elevators serving the two platforms and other ADA compliant features such as Braille signage and a wheelchair accessible fare gate. The Sunnyside auxiliary entrance will also be accessible to customers with disabilities with ADA-compliant ramps leading from the station entrance to the platforms.
  • Modern Features: to improve customer convenience, other modern station amenities that will be new or improved upon with the rebuilt station include:
    • Wider stairwells
    • New escalators
    • Additional turnstiles
    • New lighting
    • New signage, including Braille
    • Additional bike parking
    • Modern steel framed, translucent canopies
  • Enhanced Neighborhood Presence: in addition to restoring the terra cotta exterior of the 1923 stationhouse and building a new stationhouse, work will also be performed to better the pedestrian environment on Broadway and Wilson with the removal of some ‘L’ structure support columns from both the street and sidewalk.
  • Safer and More Reliable Service: to better improve the reliability of service and improve travel times, a significant amount of work will be performed on infrastructure and non-customer facing components such as:
    • Replacement of track and viaducts through the station area
    • Upgrades to the signaling system
    • New elevated support structure
    • Removal of all support columns currently located in the street on Wilson and Broadway
    • Removal of many support columns currently located on sidewalks along Broadway

Funding for the project comes from the the Illinois Jobs Now program ($170 million), the Federal Transportation Administration ($30 million), and tax increment financing ($3 million).


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  • I'm glad to see they are incorporating the old station on the north side of the street into the new design.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    It's a terrible mistake to keep that ugly, old, terra cotta covered garbage.
    I'll bet it's adding $20 million to the cost!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Disagree. It will look great.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I like terra cotta. I'm in favor of preserving characteristic neighborhood historical architecture. How do you feel about the Uptown Theatre?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    The Uptown is different as it had far better architects.
    But my main reason for wanting the Gerber Building flattened & a whole new Wilson station built is that saving it will add millions to the cost, which could be spent on something else, plus I have a feeling that they will discover during its rebuild that it's in far worse condition than believed & the costs to save it will skyrocket or they will be forced to flatten it after spending a fortune on it at first. If forced to flatten it, then the CTA will incur the wrath of the idiotic preservationists at any & all cost group, who will probably go to court to try to save it, thus increasing the cost even more.

  • I am not against the concept of rebuilding Wilson Ave. But doesn't anyone else think that 203 million is a bit too high?

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    As CTA would say at the bottom of the construction report, the comparison would be to the Brown Line project at $500 million, that got two comparable stations at Fullerton and Belmont, and some other stuff, including a Homer Simpson job, and that was bid about 10 years ago. The track pattern that needs to be straightened out at Wilson probably indicates more work, while it appears that money won't need to be spent to condemn land.

    Of course, when they announce the value before putting it out to bid, that pretty much assures that the bid won't be less than that.

  • In reply to jack:

    I thought the same thing... Typically you announce the cost after you've received bids. Otherwise, what incentive does someone have to underbid the competition?

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