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CTA OKs contract to replace three Evanston viaducts

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The Chicago Transit Authority Board today approved a $10.3 million contract to replace the Purple Line viaducts at Grove, Dempster and Greenleaf Streets in Evanston.

The project will also repair the retaining wall along Chicago Avenue from Greenleaf to Hamilton.

“These crumbling viaducts are more than 100 years old and have deteriorated over time with exposure to the elements and train vibrations, leading to reduced speeds for Purple Line trains,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

“Repairing the viaducts will allow us to remove the slow zones and speed travel for customers. The new structures also will provide a safer and more attractive environment for the community,” Claypool added

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said approval of the contract "serves as another important step in the critical replacement of these viaducts.”

Steel beams shore up the crumbling concrete columns of the Grove Street CTA viaduct. (Mike Perlman photo.)

She said city officials appreciate the commitment Claypool and CTA board members have shown toward the Purple Line.

She also praised efforts of State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg in advocating in Springfield for funds to be used for the project.

Kiewit Infrastructure was selected as the contractor through a competitive bidding process. Funding for the project is provided by an Illinois Department of Transportation grant through the Regional Transportation Authority.

Construction plans are still being finalized, but preliminary work will likely begin in August, with the majority of the work to occur in 2012.

“Infrastructure investments are paramount in a system as old as the CTA’s,” said CTA Chairman Terry Peterson. “Continuing the replacement of these viaducts is one example of the improvements CTA can implement if we had the funds required for capital investments. The agency has an unmet capital need of $10 billion to get to a state of good repair.”

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