- During an April 26 press conference, Dorval Carter Jr., president of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), said the agency's $2.1 billion Red and Purple Line Modernization (RPM) program, its largest capital project ever, is one step closer to getting underway, Curbed Chicago reported.
- About $4 million of critical track reconstruction is nearing completion, a milestone that will do away with a “slow zone” in the CTA system and allow the RPM to proceed.
- Major construction on the 100-year-old rail should begin later this year. The CTA has already been performing preconstruction work such as building demolition and utility relocation.
In December, the CTA announced its selection of Fluor Corp. and Walsh Construction Co. to engineer, design and build the first phase of the RPM project. The two will work together as a joint venture under a $1.2 billion contract, which includes reconstruction of four stations and six miles of old track; construction of a $570 million rail bypass, also known as the Belmont Flyover; and installation of a new signal system. Construction on the Belmont Flyover is not expected to start until next year.
Also in December, the CTA announced that HNTB Corp., under a $21 million program management contract, would oversee the final environmental review process for a separate $2.3 billion, 5.3-mile extension of the Red Line. HNTB will perform preliminary engineering work and a project impact analysis in advance of the CTA’s application for a $1 billion Federal Transit Administration New Starts grant.
While President Donald Trump’s administration has pushed back against helping to fund some infrastructure projects it deems of only regional import, like replacement of the $13 billion Hudson River tunnel between New York and New Jersey, it has come through with funding for some local projects or has advanced them toward Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA).
Last month, the FTA advanced the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority's (Sound Transit) $3.1 billion, 7.8-mile Federal Way Link light-rail extension into the engineering phase, which puts it one step away from a $790 million federal grant. Earlier this year, the FTA made another decision in favor of a Sound Transit project when it executed the largest transit grant of the Trump administration — a $1.2 billion FFGA for the $3.2 billion, 8.5-mile Lynnwood Link Extension light-rail project. That money will be made available through the FTA's Capital Investment Grant program.