Mayor Emanuel crunched his way through ballast on naked rail beds on the south CTA Red Line today to make a point – the $425 million project is “on time and on budget.”
Here’s the update from the CTA:
Six weeks into the project, nearly all of the tracks, ties, third rail and ballast have been removed from the 10 miles of railroad between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street. Crews have also begun the rehabilitation of eight of the nine stations that are part of the project, with work including lighting replacement or refurbishment, floor reglazing/repair, painting, cleaning and new elevators at the Garfield, 63rd and 87th stations. The ninth station, 95th Street Terminal, will be reconstructed in a separate, $240 million project next year.
The Red Line South reconstruction is one of the City’s largest current infrastructure projects, and one of the largest transit-related projects in the country. The reconstruction will generate around 1,500 jobs, including 1,000 construction jobs and more than 400 part-time, permanent bus operators. Many of those jobs are being filled by Chicagoans.
To serve customers during the Red Line South reconstruction, which runs through October 2013, the CTA is providing extensive alternative bus and rail service that’s being widely used each day. Free bus shuttles carry passengers between the 95th, 87th, 79th, 69th and 63rd Street station to the Garfield elevated station, where entry is free. Additionally, the CTA if offering a 50-cent discount on all bus rides south of 63rd Street.
Video report from the Chicago Tribune.