CTA picks finalists for Red Line Extension construction bids

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has selected three pre-qualified teams to submit proposals on the project to extend rail service to Chicago’s Far South Side.

The three teams selected are: FH Paschen, Ragnar Benson, Milhouse and BOWA Joint Venture; Kiewit Infrastructure; and Walsh VINCI Transit Community Partners. These entities are representative of a variety of local, national and international businesses.Originally promised in 1969, the project will extend the CTA Red Line past 95th St to the city’s southern border near 130th St., With work underway on the design, the $3.6 billion project will add another 5.6 miles of heavy rail and connect the Far South Side communities with 4 new stations.

The project also includes a train storage yard and maintenance shop facility, located along the new tracks near 120th St.

“Today we move closer to providing Chicago residents with an extended and improved commute on the Red Line, our busiest line, by selecting the best and most qualified firms to ultimately build this dream and make it a reality,” said CTA president Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This historic project represents equity for the underserved South Side community by finally giving them a rail line that extends to the city limits.”

In October 2022, CTA issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) asking firms to submit their qualifications.

Candidates will move into the next phase of the competitive procurement process and CTA will decide which contracting team will ultimately be chosen to design and build the RLE project based on their submitted proposals. Project proposals will be due early 2024 with an expected execution by the end of 2024.

Contracting teams’ proposals will be considered on a variety of criteria, including experience, price, diversity outreach plans, and other factors. CTA expects major construction of this project to begin in late 2025 and is dependent on securing full project funding.

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