3 Teams Selected for Chicago Red Line Extension

3 Teams Selected for Chicago Red Line Extension

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has reached a significant milestone in the long-awaited Red Line extension project by announcing the three teams selected to submit proposals. The Red Line Extension consists of:


 - 5.6 Mile rail extension

 - Four new stations

 - Elevated tracks from 95th Street to 119th Street, ground level tracks from 119th Street to 130th Street

 - Multimodal connections at each station to include bus, bike, pedestrian, and park and ride facilities

 - Train storage yard & shop facility at 120th Street


This project, initially proposed during the Daley administration in the 1950s, received approval for its initial funding late last year, leading to the identification of the three groups. These teams consist of:


 - Walsh VINCI Transit Community Partners

 - Kiewit Infrastructure

 - Joint venture between BOWA, FH Paschen, Ragnar Benson, and Milhouse


After conducting preliminary studies and plans in collaboration with the CTA and Muller2 Architects, a Request For Qualifications was launched in October 2022. Now, the proposals from the three teams must outline their workforce goals and actively involve firms that fall under the Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The DBE program includes for-profit small businesses with at least 51-percent ownership by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. This participation allows the city to access additional federal funds from the DOT.

To help fund the estimated $3.6 billion project, the Chicago City Council approved the creation of a new transit Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in 2022, overlaid on top of existing standard TIF districts. The revenue generated from the growth of the Loop and South Loop areas will support the extension without increasing taxes or reducing funding to Chicago Public Schools in the region.

Similar financing mechanisms were successfully employed in 2017 for the Red Purple Modernization (RPM) project, with the Red Line extension aiming to generate $950 million over the next 35 years.

Furthermore, there is a proposal for an additional $350 million in federal government funding, subject to approval by Congress, to expedite the extension's progress. The city hopes that future federal and state contributions will cover the remaining costs over time.


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The three proposals from the selected teams are due to be submitted to the city in early 2024, and the winning team will have approximately a year to complete the majority of the design work. If funding falls into place, major construction is projected to begin in late 2025, with an anticipated completion date in 2029.

In addition to this exciting Red Line extension development, the CTA recently announced funding for a new rail car series and other system upgrades, further enhancing the city's transportation infrastructure. These collective efforts reflect Chicago's commitment to improving public transportation accessibility and connectivity, providing its residents with more efficient and convenient commuting options.


Posted by Judy Lamelza

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