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Dearborn Blue Line Tracks First Up For CTA Stimulus Cash

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 18, 2009 4:20PM

Photo by Sleepy_Grant
With the elimination of slow zones from Damen to Clark/Lake behind them, the CTA is going to use a new influx of federal stimulus cash to fix up the Blue Line at the Dearborn station; 36,000 feet of it, to be exact. Per the Chi-Town Daily News:

CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said federal funds will pay for only part of the $88 million project. The contract awarded to Kiewit-Reyes, a joint venture between two Illinois construction companies, includes $56.6 million in stimulus money.

The choice of Kiewit-Reyes is significant because part of it, the Markham-based Reyes Group Ltd., is considered what federal transportation officials call a disadvantaged business enterprise. The federal government requires that programs assisted by the U.S. Department of Transportation ensure nondiscrimination of contracts. Many DBEs are owned by women and minorities.

New CTA President Rich Rodriguez said in a statement, “The allocation of stimulus funding comes at a critical time for CTA as the agency needs funding to maintain an aging infrastructure. This project will create approximately 400 jobs locally over the course of the work and will allow the agency to continue its efforts to upgrade and modernize the system.” At its worst, the CTA had 263,526 feet worth of slow zones - or 22.3 percent of the 224.1 miles of track. The CTA claims that they've now cut that down to 100,188 feet, or 8.5 percent. Work on the Dearborn tracks will begin by mid-April.