CTA Announces Three Teams To Submit Bids For Red Line Extension

New station rendering for the Red Line Extension via CTA

The Chicago Transit Authority has announced three-teams to submit proposals for the upcoming Red Line extension. First proposed under the Daley administration in the 1950’s, initial funding for the project was approved late last year leading to the three groups identified. These teams consist of Walsh VINCI Transit Community Partners, Kiewit Infrastructure, and a joint venture between BOWA, FH Paschen, Ragnar Benson, and Milhouse.

Project context for the Red Line Extension via CTA

After some initial studies and plans were created by the CTA and Muller2 Architects, a Request For Qualifications was launched in October 2022. Now the three-teams proposal’s must cover their workforce goals and heavily involve the participation of firms that fall into the DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. These are for-profit small businesses with at least 51-percent ownership from socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, thus allowing the city to tap into additional federal funds from the DOT.

Project context for the Red Line Extension via CTA

Once completed the extension will utilize some existing infrastructure and extend the line from its current terminus at 95th Street down to 130th Street. This 5.6-mile addition will utilize a mix of elevated and grade level tracks with four new stations at 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and the new terminus at 130th Street. These will be fully accessible stations with bus, bike, pedestrian, and park & ride facilities, along with a new train yard and shop on 120th Street near the Metra KYD facility.

Project context for the Red Line Extension via CTA

To help fund the $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. This will utilize the growth of the Loop and South Loop to fund the extension without increasing taxes, nor reducing funding to Chicago Public Schools in the area. The same type of designation was first created in 2017 to help fund the Red Purple Modernization (RPM) project, with the Red Line extension hoping to produce $950 million in the next 35 years.

View of train over Chicago River via CTA

An additional $350 million is being proposed from the federal government to be approved by congress in order to help push the extension forward, with the city hoping future federal and state dollars will cover the rest over time. The three-proposals are due to the city in early 2024 with the winning team needing a year after to complete the majority of the design work, hoping to begin major construction in late 2025 with a 2029 completion pending funding.

The news come after the CTA also announced funding for a new rail car series among other system upgrades.

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7 Comments on "CTA Announces Three Teams To Submit Bids For Red Line Extension"

  1. How many riders per day are they actually projecting for this segment? Even at a higher cost, I think building a subway branch east on 79th street would be a much better use of funds due to considerably higher ridership.

    It seems like coming up with some concession agreement with NICTD would have been a lot cheaper than building out redundant service to 130th street …

  2. Really excited watching this project progress. It’s great to see these communities which have been in so many ways been forgotten by the city be connected

  3. Bobby Siemiaszko | May 18, 2023 at 5:09 pm | Reply

    When are we going to start about a Circle Line connecting Lincoln Yards, River West along Halsted? Or a new line along Ashland or Western or Kedzie (Connecting 3 major parks and connecting 7 or 8 spokes)? We need to connect the whole city from North to West to South and not just downtown otherwise we will continue to lose residents. I’m tired of seeing our population dwindling especially on the South and West side when we should be adding 100,000 new people every year in immigrants and migration.

    • If you look up the neighborhoods of Chicago, just about everyone has had a gain in population besides the South and West sides in 2022. Wikipedia has the numbers of all 77, and I was pretty impressed to see the uptick. Downtown and Near West saw huge gains. And over population is an issue. I’d rather not be bursting at the seams. Maybe build up steadily, but let it even out. Refill the areas that have seen the worst of blight.

  4. It would be great to have the Red Line train, goes beyond 95th to 130th Street. And a easy access to the South Shore Line at 130th, for those who are traveling to Northwest Indiana.

  5. I bet that the residents at Altgeld Gardens would take buyout money and run instead of getting a station at this dead end part of town. A station that probbaly costs somewhere upwards of $700mill to serve 3,500 residents… why that’s $200k per person!! A family of four could buy a two flat in Lakeview at that price and prosper for years and years.

  6. And yet…the Sheridan and North & Clyborn stations remain non-ADA compliant after decades of complaints.

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