Contractor Chosen To Build Bloomingdale Trail

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 20, 2013 8:45PM

The city's largest construction company won the highly coveted bid to transform the Bloomingdale Trail from a dilapidated former railway into nearly three miles of greenspace Tuesday.

Walsh Construction’s $53.7 million bid was the lowest of three firms seeking the contract. It’s the latest city bid won by Walsh, the largest construction group in Chicago. Founded in 1898 by Matthew Myles Walsh, the firm has a deep history of winning city and state contracts such as all of the major bids for the Dan Ryan expressway reconstruction in 2006, the construction of Millennium Park and a 2009 contract to expand O’Hare International Airport that was criticized because of ties between former Mayor Richard M. Daley and Walsh co-Chairman Matthew Walsh. The ties between the Walsh and Daley clans are believed to extend back to Matthew Myles Walsh and Richard J. Daley.

Walsh is such a huge company that they often face no other bidders for government contracts and are often the only company with the manpower, equipment and expertise to tackle the jobs they win. The transition from Daley to Emanuel hasn’t hurt Walsh’s bottom line. The company had $3.6 billion in revenue in 2012 and is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. The sheer size of the company—its manpower, expertise and the equipment to do their jobs—means Walsh will still see their share of city business.

Walsh beat out F.H. Paschen/S.N. Nielsen & Associates LLC and The Lane Construction Corporation for the Bloomingdale Trail bid. Construction on the project is expected to begin at the end of August.