CTA awards contract for Red Line South reconstruction

November 14, 2012

Alma Bahman

(Flickr/Zol87)
The Red Line South reconstruction project will rebuild the train tracks from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street.

Updated Nov. 15, 9:40 a.m.

The Chicago Transit Board awarded the contract for its biggest reconstruction project on Wednesday.

F. H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen and Associates, LLC will rebuild the Red Line South from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street. With an estimated budget of $425 million, plans include improving stations, tracks and ties, drainage systems and more.

“We are looking forward to providing our south Red Line customers with improved stations that are cleaner, brighter and better than they have been in years,” Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool said in a press release. “From cosmetic improvements and repairs to more substantial upgrades, like three new elevators at the Garfield, 63rd and 87th street stations, we are committed to giving our customers a new south Red Line experience.”

More than $1 billion in federal, state and local funds are being invested in these improvements, according to the CTA.

Paschen—the general contracting firm awarded the CTA contract—not only put in the lowest bid, it participates in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. Forty percent of its subcontractors qualify as a disadvantaged business, a goal CTA wanted to meet.

A little more than $17.5 million—or about 40 percent—of the total contract goes to the subcontractors for their work, according to the CTA’s press release. Furthermore, of that 40 percent, 92.2 percent of the money will go to African-American firms, 7.8 percent to Hispanic firms and 6 percent to women-owned firms.

The CTA also announced its streamlined system for bus parts and plan to rehab 60 percent of its bus fleet.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the percentage of the CTA contract that goes to the subcontractors.