Project Overview

Background | Scope of Work

Project Background

The Chicago Transit Board, at its monthly meeting on July 11, 2001, approved a $317 million construction contract for Kiewit/Delgado, AJV (A Joint Venture) to rehabilitate the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line. Under the proposed agreement, the firm will oversee a comprehensive construction project to restore the branch so that it is 100% ADA compliant and allows for faster travel times from one end of the line to the other.

Kiewit/Delgado, AJV will conduct the majority of the track and structure work on weekends when the branch is not in service. Work that is not at track level -- such as station house construction, electrical substation construction, foundations, bents and utility relocations -- will be performed on weekdays, with the CTA creating temporary entrances when necessary to avoid any inconvenience to its customers.

The rehabilitation project, which is expected to last through September 2005, will involve extensive work on eight CTA® rail stations (six elevated and two at-grade), five miles of track, signal and communications equipment, traction power system and infrastructure rehabilitation.

Over the years, the condition of the Cermak (Douglas) branch deteriorated to a point that permanent "slow zones" are present throughout more than 47% of track. Slow zones require trains to operate at 15mph instead of the normal 55mph, making a trip from the terminal at 54th/Cermak to LaSalle take up to 35 minutes. The CTA® expects the same trip to be reduced by 10 minutes upon completion of the Douglas branch rehabilitation project.


Scope of Work

There were actually four separate design packages that made up was to be known as the Douglas Renovation Project. The design packages were set up as follows:

  • Package #1: Substations
  • Package #2: Elevated stations and structures
  • Package #3: Grade-level stations and 54th Yard
  • Package #4: Signals and communications

Although the project was set up with different design packages, there is only one construction contractor: Kiewit/Delgado, AJV.

The work that will be done as part of the Douglas Renovation Project is as follows:

Station Improvements:

Signals and Communication:

  • 6.6 miles of new train control signals and communication
  • 6 new interlockings
  • Bi-directional cab signal system replacing outdated single direction cab system
  • New grade crossing equipment
  • New fiber optic communication backbone and nodes
  • Upgraded communications and audio visual signs

Traction Power System:

  • Two new electrical substations
    • 17th Street substation
    • Harding (Pulaski) substation (replaces existing facility)
  • Three rehabilitated substations
    • Hermitage substation
    • Douglas (Western) substation
    • 54th Yard substation
  • Upgraded to all contact rail
  • Improved power controls

Infrastructure Rehabilitation:

  • Renew approximately 175 column foundations
  • Install approximately 720 new caissons
  • Apply protective coat to new girders
  • Remove and replace approximately 350 spans of structure
  • Upgrade/replace approximately 5 miles of footwalk
  • Replace 5 miles of rail and ties
  • Upgrade/renew special trackwork
  • Renew and reconfigure 100 rail car storage yard at 54th Avenue
  • Renew retaining wall at Keeler
  • Replace three bridges:
    • Western Avenue: 2 spans, 101'-108'
    • Ogden Avenue: 3 spans, 90'-161'-90'
    • Keeler Avenue: 1 span, 68'
  • Construct new transportation maintenance building at 54th Yard
  • Reconstruct Belt Railway bridge