Arcadis to work on phase I of Chicago transit project


Dutch firm Arcadis has been selected as managing partner of Elevated Solution Partners, a joint venture with Jacobs and Ardmore Roderick, to serve as owner’s representative of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) programme.

The RPM programme will be the largest capital improvement project in CTA history, said Arcadis.

The Elevated Solution Partners team will serve as an extension of CTA’s staff and oversee all aspects of the project under a $102m contract.

Arcadis city executive in Chicago LeeAnn Tomas-Foster said: “This project will improve rider experience, reduce overcrowding and help CTA meet rapidly growing demand for transit service in Chicago.

“We are honored to work with CTA to improve quality of life for Chicagoans.”

The 9.6-mile stretch of track was built nearly a century ago and the ageing infrastructure hinders service and requires frequent costly maintenance.

The busiest in Chicago’s ‘L’ rapid transit system, the Red Line serves some of the densely populated neighbourhoods in the US.

Red Line has recorded a 40% increase in ridership over a five-year period and CTA has taken up the RPM programme to meet the demand.

The modernisation programme will be completed in phases, which will allow the CTA to maximise improvements and minimise impact on riders and the community.

Construction under the first phase is set to begin in the second half of 2019 and conclude in 2025.

The first phase will include the construction of Red-Purple Bypass north of the Belmont station and Lawrence-Bryn Mawr modernisation.

The Red-Purple Bypass is expected to address capacity constraints caused by a 112-year-old track junction where the Brown Line intersects with the Red and Purple lines.

The bypass will carry northbound Brown Line trains over Red and Purple Line tracks, allowing for more train services to reduce overcrowding and delays.

Under the Lawrence-Bryn Mawr modernisation programme, four ageing stations, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr, along with the existing four-track alignment, will be rebuilt.

Modern amenities and elevators at the new stations will make them accessible to riders with disabilities. In addition, the new track structure will provide better clearance over the existing streets and wider station platforms, which will improve train speeds and service reliability.

The project will also include a new high-capacity signal system from Belmont Station to Howard Yard.


Image: A CTA train emerges from the north portal of the State Street Subway on the Chicago 'L' Red Line. Photo: Courtesy of JeremyA / Wikimedia Commons.

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