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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

LA21st Jan 4, 2007 1:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 2544649)
:previous:

That would be pure blasphemy.

Improve speed, track condition, and efficiency yes.

Scrap the EL, unthinkable.

Agreed. Modernize the stations and such but never tear it down. NEVER. That would be like ripping a part out of Chicago's heart. Just thinking about it makes me sad, and Im not even a native.

honte Jan 4, 2007 2:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by texcolo (Post 2544637)
Anyways, should Chicago scrap the El Loop for better conditioned subways?

It once was foolishly considered to do this in the 1970s... I think just about every Chicagoan is glad they never did it.

There is one question that's been on my mind, however; perhaps some of the transit buffs here can answer it for me: Is it possible to modernize the Loop elevated without destroying its historic charm? Sure, Quincey station is an example of a well-done station house, but what about the elevated structure itself? I am always saddened to see the beautiful riveted steel replaced by concrete, such as on the Douglas line.

texcolo Jan 4, 2007 2:14 AM

How much does the CTA spend on keeping the Loop up and running???

I gotta big kick out of riding it, but just think about the maintainence costs, the affect of street life below, the accessability for the handicapped and elderly, the safety issues, the age of the steel and rivets holding it together...

mikeelm Jan 4, 2007 2:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 2544747)
It once was foolishly considered to do this in the 1970s... I think just about every Chicagoan is glad they never did it.

There is one question that's been on my mind, however; perhaps some of the transit buffs here can answer it for me: Is it possible to modernize the Loop elevated without destroying its historic charm? Sure, Quincey station is an example of a well-done station house, but what about the elevated structure itself? I am always saddened to see the beautiful riveted steel replaced by concrete, such as on the Douglas line.

I Think it would of been nicer to have put it all underground.

Marcu Jan 4, 2007 2:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2544423)
All the contracts, specs, and procurement files for government agencies (CDOT and CTA included) are publicly available via the Freedom of Information Act, so if you're so concerned about impropriety why don't you have a look at them instead of merely waxing righteously indignant with general accusations backed up with no specifics?

CDOT and CTA would likely deny the requests until bidding has been complete or otherwise terminated as they are allowed to do a FOIA exemption. This being a message board, I was hoping someone would simply tell me what the project entails and the reasons why it costs as much as it does.

As for the personal attack, I simply choose not to be willfully blind for the sake of advancing a pro-transit political position. I guess it takes a certain sense of subtety to realize transparency and good governance on the part of the CTA would do more to advance mass transit in Chicago than almost anything else.

VivaLFuego Jan 4, 2007 4:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2544837)
CDOT and CTA would likely deny the requests until bidding has been complete or otherwise terminated as they are allowed to do a FOIA exemption. This being a message board, I was hoping someone would simply tell me what the project entails and the reasons why it costs as much as it does.

As for the personal attack, I simply choose not to be willfully blind for the sake of advancing a pro-transit political position. I guess it takes a certain sense of subtety to realize transparency and good governance on the part of the CTA would do more to advance mass transit in Chicago than almost anything else.

Obviously the Grand files wouldn't be public yet, but any other completed or in-progress projects would be; but you always come off as so indignant about how incompetent and corrupt our various government entities are without actually backing it up with any facts of when there was impropriety in contract award, etc. I'm not saying there should be lack of transparency, but you only appear to sow a sense of general mistrust when you don't seem to have any actual facts to back up the alleged incompetence and impropriety of CTA, CDOT, the City, etc.

As you can tell, I'm a transit lifer so I take it personally when you hurl such accusations at my colleagues.

More on topic, I think their estimates were sound based on past experience; the Chicago Ave. Red Line rehab cost close to $20 million, and it was bid out around 1999. Inflationary increases, especially in construction, for similar services would put Grand at closer to $30 million. Possible reasons for the high bids I can think of: 1) the contractors are already stretched thin, so adding the staffing required to meet whatever time frame the city required was exorbitantly expensive, therefore meaning they'll need to bid it out again at a later date or maybe 2) the scope of work was bigger than Chicago and inclded excavation to allow for a direct transfer to the eventual River Line, in which case I hope they find the money to keep the ball rolling.

VivaLFuego Jan 4, 2007 4:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 2544747)
It once was foolishly considered to do this in the 1970s... I think just about every Chicagoan is glad they never did it.

There is one question that's been on my mind, however; perhaps some of the transit buffs here can answer it for me: Is it possible to modernize the Loop elevated without destroying its historic charm? Sure, Quincey station is an example of a well-done station house, but what about the elevated structure itself? I am always saddened to see the beautiful riveted steel replaced by concrete, such as on the Douglas line.

Sure. It has already been largely modernized, the same way the Green Line was. -Basically- the extent of the structual modernization is 1) reconstructing the foundations (caissons) for the structural supports as needed and 2) renewing the flange angles, which are the angled pieces riveted on to the main crossbeams and supports to create an I-beam (as these were made before huge I-beams came pre-fabbed). The flange angles are the piece of the structure that wears the most for obvious reasons (it's transfering all the load), and are also susceptible to rust if the riveting wasn't done well. Most of the steel structure has a very long life span if its treated well and kept from rusting out, but obviously sometimes is unsalvageable so pieces must be replaced. From a track perspective, basically you can replace the wooden ties with plastic composite ties, have the rails clipped on instead of spiked down, and continuously weld the rail. All this can be done, it just costs money and is disruptive to service (replacing ties on an L structure is a bit more complicated than replacing ties on ballast, for which there are machines that do it automatically). My understanding is that in terms of structural renewal of the old elevated structure throughout the city, basically the entire system has been fairly modernized (including the Loop, South Side Main, Milwaukee L and most of the Ravenswood) with the exception of the North Side Main Line (i.e. the Red Line), with the portion south of Belmont to be renewed as part of the Brown Line project.

Hope this helps.

VivaLFuego Jan 4, 2007 4:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 2544716)
Funny you should say that. The CDOT commissioner takes the el to work every day and barely drives anywhere. Many CDOT people take the el/bus and most of the others take metra.

I think the problem is at City Hall, or IDOT. It is not at CDOT. The Transit division is hiring more people at CDOT, fyi. Not alot, but it is starting to grow.:)

Indeed.... CDOT has to what they're told, and I'm sure alot of politics go into devising the project lists and budgeting.

honte Jan 4, 2007 4:26 AM

^ Great info, VivaL! Thanks again.

Your analysis seems to indicate that the majority of the steel structure aside from the flange angles is usually in pretty good shape, correct?

Also, does this mean that we shouldn't be losing any more steel elevated structure beyond the Douglas branch? And, why didn't they use this method on the Douglas instead of replacing it with Miami-style concrete piers? I presume it was just too far gone?

VivaLFuego Jan 4, 2007 4:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 2545008)
^ Great info, VivaL! Thanks again.

Your analysis seems to indicate that the majority of the steel structure aside from the flange angles is usually in pretty good shape, correct?

Also, does this mean that we shouldn't be losing any more steel elevated structure beyond the Douglas branch? And, why didn't they use this method on the Douglas instead of replacing it with Miami-style concrete piers? I presume it was just too far gone?

Basically. You'll note that they actually did manage to save the old steel L for the portion of the Douglas that runs North-South along Paulina, from Cullerton up to the Eisenhower. This portion of the branch had some significant work done around the early 80s (I think) when they did some renovations and rebuilt the stations there. The Paulina Connector (from the Eisenhower to the Lake st L) and the East-West portion of the Douglas were basically too far gone to salvage in any meaningful way, as I don't think they had gotten any structural maintenance (not even paint to slow the rust) for 50 years. I think the entire, or very nearly, elevated portion of the Douglas, west of Paulina, was 15-25mph slow zones when they started the rehab.

TransitEngr Jan 5, 2007 2:45 AM

Orange Line - Extension Ideas
 
I'm just floating this out there to get feedback from people.... (PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REPLY!!)

As most people know, the Orange Line MIGHT oneday be extended to Ford City Mall (the various way and routes are to be studied very soon by consultants but that is NOT the purpose of my posting).

My question is.....
If the Orange Line were extended to Ford City Mall, should there be consideration further on in the future to oneday extend the Orange Line to the new Chicago Fire Stadium? Do you think that would be a good, or bad idea, and if so, why?

the urban politician Jan 5, 2007 4:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TransitEngr (Post 2546762)
My question is.....
If the Orange Line were extended to Ford City Mall, should there be consideration further on in the future to oneday extend the Orange Line to the new Chicago Fire Stadium? Do you think that would be a good, or bad idea, and if so, why?

^ Bad idea. The Chicago Fire should have built their stadium near transit to begin with. Lord knows there's plenty of room along the Orange Line on the SW side.

I see no reason to waste city, state, and federal dollars to build a rail line all the way out there

SevenSevenThree Jan 5, 2007 4:26 AM

Quick question (whats new): Riding home for a while now on the Purple Line, Ive noticed what appears to be the lengthening of the Chicago Ave and the Sedgewick platforms. Is that what it is? Is the laying of wood permanant? Im asking because I knew these stations, or at least I thought, would be re-habbed but it seems like a wasted opportunity to do something really great. It looks cheap and is it the best material to use when there is better out there? Why must CTA make me hate them the way they do? Ugh! Maybe my expectation are too high or maybe they lack vision.

honte Jan 5, 2007 4:39 AM

^ Of all the old CTA stations, I think Chicago/Franklin Brown Line is one of the most charming. But, since they are probably going to mess the whole thing up, yes, they should do something spectacular.

Oh by the way, since I've been complaining about stations lately, I thought I should mention that I think the new Cicero station on the Blue (err Pink) Line is pretty darn cool for a budget station. Just saw it for the first time a few weeks ago.

texcolo Jan 5, 2007 5:53 AM

OK... maybe I kept getting off at the wrong stations in the loop and getting the wrong impression...

http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/im...p/quincy12.jpg

http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/im...p/quincy14.jpg

:D

Latoso Jan 5, 2007 9:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TransitEngr
]If the Orange Line were extended to Ford City Mall, should there be consideration further on in the future to oneday extend the Orange Line to the new Chicago Fire Stadium? Do you think that would be a good, or bad idea, and if so, why?

Yes it should be built as I've been advocating since before the stadiums construction. Here are some old maps I drew up showing what I proposed and a satellite image of the area:

http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/2...ossible2dl.jpg

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/3...ngereallw4.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2546951)
^ Bad idea. The Chicago Fire should have built their stadium near transit to begin with. Lord knows there's plenty of room along the Orange Line on the SW side.

I see no reason to waste city, state, and federal dollars to build a rail line all the way out there

Way out there? You're nuts and obviously unfamiliar with the area. Bridgeview, Summit, Burbank, Oak Lawn and the surrounding area including Chicago neighborhoods Clearing and Garfield Ridge are much denser than most suburbs and denser than some outlying city neighborhoods. In fact the both ends of the Blue line, the Red and Purple as well as the Yellow line go much farther than my proposed extension, plus it would be relatively less expensive than most extensions because it uses existing railroad right-of-ways so I don't know where you think you're coming from.

VivaLFuego Jan 5, 2007 3:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SevenSevenThree (Post 2546971)
Quick question (whats new): Riding home for a while now on the Purple Line, Ive noticed what appears to be the lengthening of the Chicago Ave and the Sedgewick platforms. Is that what it is? Is the laying of wood permanant? Im asking because I knew these stations, or at least I thought, would be re-habbed but it seems like a wasted opportunity to do something really great. It looks cheap and is it the best material to use when there is better out there? Why must CTA make me hate them the way they do? Ugh! Maybe my expectation are too high or maybe they lack vision.

I believe what you're presently seeing is temporary; those extensions will be in use while the opposite ends of the platforms are closed to be rebuilt. The tipoff is that its unfinished wood they're laying down.

That said, the new stations will mostly be pretty bland. The cost-cutting revisions after the first bids came in too high basically took out any detailing and also took out the unique design that each station had (i.e. there will be a standard brown line look/aesthetic now). They'll be pretty nice when done, but purely functional. Such is the reality of Chicago transit.

the urban politician Jan 5, 2007 3:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Latoso (Post 2547481)
Bridgeview, Summit, Burbank, Oak Lawn and the surrounding area including Chicago neighborhoods Clearing and Garfield Ridge are much denser than most suburbs and denser than some outlying city neighborhoods. In fact the both ends of the Blue line, the Red and Purple as well as the Yellow line go much farther than my proposed extension, plus it would be relatively less expensive than most extensions because it uses existing railroad right-of-ways so I don't know where you think you're coming from.

^ Granted, but considering the struggle we face year-in-year out just to get a drop in the bucket of transit funding, I would gather it would be wisest to start locating new developments (ie sports stadiums) near existing stops of the city's transit system. This is especially true along lines in the south and west sides, which are heavily underutilized. Now if getting funding for this extension isn't a problem, then I'm all for it. But if obtaining funds for this takes away from other projects (red line extension, circle line, downtown light rail system, etc) then it seems like a waste of precious transit money just because of a decision made by a soccer team.

nomarandlee Jan 5, 2007 5:46 PM

I agree with UP. If the Fire had found it a priority to think of their fans (especially in the city) they could have developed a stadium near transit in the first place. Instead they wanted parking lots (with which to take more revenue from I guess) and they wanted subsidies from Bridgeview to get their stadium built instead of putting in the city or near transit. Frankly, screw 'em unless they want to tear some of those lots up and make the area immediate around TOD. It is not like a 40k stadium that will be used 81 times a year anyway.

Latoso Jan 5, 2007 5:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2547790)
^ Granted, but considering the struggle we face year-in-year out just to get a drop in the bucket of transit funding, I would gather it would be wisest to start locating new developments (ie sports stadiums) near existing stops of the city's transit system. This is especially true along lines in the south and west sides, which are heavily underutilized.

Now why would the Fire build a soccer stadium on the south or west sides? Black people don't like soccer! ;)


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