CTA building new Control and Training Center in West Garfield Park

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will build a $158 million Control and Training Center on Chicago’s West Side.

The new Center will be located at the northeast corner of Lake Street and Pulaski Avenue in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. The CTA plans to enter into a development agreement with Sterling Racine, LLC, for design and construction of the new Control Center. Construction could begin as early as April 2024 and continue through April 2026.

The disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) goal for the project is 28 percent of the design-build construction costs.

Awarding of the $158 million contract represents the second largest investment in the area in several years, behind construction of the Chicago Police and Fire Training Academy about a mile away, on West Chicago Avenue in West Garfield Park.

Funding for the project will come from multiple sources, including revenue stemming from the recent sale of CTA’s existing Control Center facility in the West Loop, as well as funding from Rebuild Illinois, the state’s infrastructure funding program, and CTA’s capital budget.

The 150,000-square-foot facility will house the CTA’s 24/7 Control Center, which oversees the operation of and communication with buses, trains and power on the rail system. Additionally, the new building will serve as CTA’s main training center for a wide range of operating, maintenance and customer-facing personnel.

“CTA choosing the Near West Side for their new Control Center Operations and Training Center is the latest example of how we are working together to modernize and provide better services as a whole while revitalizing historically underinvested communities,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “This new project complements the ongoing Invest South/West program and is the latest local government facility to be constructed in the area, which together will help attract future economic development and job opportunities for this community.”

The new build will replace the CTA’s current, outdated operations center at Racine and Randolph, built nearly three decades ago. The existing facility does not meet current security and threat standards, and is in need of costly infrastructure repair and capital investment.

Additionally, the new facility will provide adequate space for large-group training and employee orientation, space for which is not available in other CTA facilities. The building will house more than 250 CTA employees.

“This project is a great example of how an investment in transit is an investment in the communities we serve,” said President Dorval Carter, Jr. “Not only will we be constructing a new, modern facility that will improve our day-to-day operation of buses and trains, it will also help generate new jobs and opportunities for those living and doing business within the surrounding community.”

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