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

denizen467 Jun 19, 2011 5:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5320359)
No evidence when I rode the UP North 2 weeks ago.

However, they still need to prepare construction drawings for the revised plan. That can take 18 months or more, and Metra only canceled the former plan last August. I imagine that, with the increased neighborhood impact of the new plan, Metra has to work through all the city politics as well.

There was some news a couple months back similar to the following:

http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home/u...schedulec.html

Metra Home / Newsroom

UP North bridge project to resume with two-track operation ...
03/14/2011

Metra will resume work in April on a major project to replace 22 aging bridges along the Union Pacific North line on the north side of Chicago, as well as to build a completely new Ravenswood Station.

...

the new approach will cost up to $42.2 million more, bringing the total cost of the project to $215 million. That’s because keeping two tracks open will require a new track to be built closer to the western edge of the right of way, which in turn will require extensive and expensive retaining wall work to support the new track. ...

...

Their replacement will be done in two phases of 11 bridges each. The first phase, which will cost $112 million and take until November 2015, will cover bridges over Balmoral, Foster, Winnemac, Lawrence, Leland, Wilson, Sunnyside, Montrose, Berteau, Irving Park and Grace. Construction of the new Ravenswood Station, the only stop in the construction zone and the busiest stop on the UP North line, will also be done in the first phase.

...

CTA Gray Line Jun 19, 2011 5:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5320359)
No evidence when I rode the UP North 2 weeks ago.

However, they still need to prepare construction drawings for the revised plan. That can take 18 months or more, and Metra only canceled the former plan last August. I imagine that, with the increased neighborhood impact of the new plan, Metra has to work through all the city politics as well.

In other commuter-rail construction news, they've started work on the 130th/Torrence project. The included pedestrian bridge (in red) is awesome. :tup: I'm guessing it's intended to provide pedestrian/bike access from Hegewisch to the Ford plant gates and possibly the Red Line when they build it out to 130th.

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/9991/130thfull.jpg


The Red Line Extension to 130th St. would end immediately adjacent to the West side of the Bishop Ford Expressway, about 2 miles West of the 130th & Torrence Ave. intersection in the above illustration.


The Gray Line Conversion would provide a new CTA Hegewisch Shuttle from Kensington (operating over the South Shore Line tracks) with a 130th & Bishop Ford Expy. CTA 'L' Station to serve Atgeld Gardens, a 130th & Torrence Ave. CTA 'L' Station (just above the Blue Truss Bridge in the image shown above) to serve the Ford Assembly Plant - with the 'L' Shuttle service ending at a new CTA 'L' Terminal addition to the present Metra/South Shore Hegewisch Station.

J_M_Tungsten Jun 19, 2011 6:27 PM

Haven't checked the transit thread in a while, so does anyone know if they are making wells a 2 way street north of the river? There are lights going up for northbound traffic now.

emathias Jun 19, 2011 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5321099)
Haven't checked the transit thread in a while, so does anyone know if they are making wells a 2 way street north of the river? There are lights going up for northbound traffic now.

Are there lights going up, or are the lights from when it was 2-way still up? As far as I know, they never removed some of the northbound lights.

J_M_Tungsten Jun 19, 2011 11:44 PM

O maybe that could be. What would be the north bound side of the road is torn up though, so not entirely sure.

jc5680 Jun 20, 2011 2:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5321348)
O maybe that could be. What would be the north bound side of the road is torn up though, so not entirely sure.

They have been doing utilities type work/maintenance on that stretch of Wells for weeks now.

M II A II R II K Jun 21, 2011 2:22 PM

Chicago Pedestrian Plan: City strives to be more pedestrian-friendly city


http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...6145100.column

Quote:

Work begins this week on the first-ever comprehensive pedestrian plan for Chicago, coming fresh off a tragic reminder that city efforts so far have yielded unexceptional results in safeguarding people walking across streets. A brown street sign marking Honorary Martha Gonzalez Place went up in East Pilsen last week on what would have been the Chicago woman's 38th birthday, almost two years after she was sprawled dead in the street, the victim of a hit-and-run driver who is still on the loose.

.....


http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/...6/62607630.jpg

M II A II R II K Jun 21, 2011 3:17 PM

Kirk unveils plan to ease transit privatization


Read More: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7495123.story

Quote:

Republican Mark Kirk today unveiled a plan designed to make it easier for governments to lease public transportation assets or enter into partnerships with private companies to build them. In presenting the details of his--which runs counter to proposed legislation from Sen. Dick Durbin--said the plan could produce $100 billion for public-private partnerships on highway, mass transit, aviation and rail projects.

- "Our roads, rail, transit and airports are facing unprecedented funding shortfalls,” he said. “We should not further burden working families with higher gas taxes. Instead, we should look to our own economic history to find a solution.” The measure would "eliminate barriers for innovative funding options,'' he said. Joining Kirk at the announcement at the Union League Club were U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren, a Winfield Republican, and Dan Lipinski, a Democrat from Western Springs.

- The initiative to loosen the reins on privatization, coming at a time of record federal and state deficits and the prospect of declining government spending on public infrastructure, runs counter to legislation that Democrat Durbin introduced Friday. It also follows controversial privatization deals in Chicago, including former Mayor Richard Daley's long-term leases of the Chicago Skyway and the city's parking meters. Daley also approved an agreement, which subsequently fell apart, to lease Midway Airport.

- In the case of the Skyway and Midway, the city spent hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding both the elevated toll road to Indiana and the Southwest Side airport before putting them on the block. Chicago business owners and residents led by Little Village community activist Raul Montes Jr. called Sunday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to end the city's lease of the tollway. "It's an infamous deal," Montes, 36, said. "When we sell Chicago's assets to alleviate budget concerns, it's pretty much fiscally irresponsible."

.....



http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/m...7-20063950.jpg

ardecila Jun 22, 2011 1:15 AM

This seems to be the big debate now... personally, I'm fine if brand-new facilities are built privately, but existing assets paid for with tax money should not be sold off.

Beta_Magellan Jun 22, 2011 4:10 PM

The main benefit of PPPs are that, done right, they shield the taxpayer from risk—less-than-expected demand or higher-than-expected maintenance costs in the case of leased-off existing infrastructure, or construction risk in the case of existing infrastructure. Unfortunately, a lot of them don’t do either and are merely giveaways, too often to politically-connected parties. Personally, I think most of the concessions are too long as well—30-40 years should be the maximum, not 99 years.

Still, I definitely think they have their place—Europe and Japan have both seen extensive private investment in infrastructure—but PPPs are tools to help get infrastructure built and maintained, not a panacea that will solve all of our infrastructure issues because it involves the magical private sector. Unfortunately, I get the impression that most Republicans at the federal level think the latter—witness Mica’s NEC privatization plan. While I think NEC privatization can be done well, he seems to assume that if SNCF or DB were to get rights to the corridor they’d be able to make improvements without much public money, whereas every report either group’s done about HSR in the US has emphasized the need for steady federal investment. Private sector involvement doesn’t take the government completely off the hook.

Back on topic, I’ve heard that Elgin-O’Hare might be finished by a PPP—anyone else heard anything about this?

ardecila Jun 22, 2011 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5324575)
Back on topic, I’ve heard that Elgin-O’Hare might be finished by a PPP—anyone else heard anything about this?

The Elgin-O'Hare planning process is incredibly transparent, especially for an IDOT project. You can read all the meeting agendas and view the presentations at the official website. The Advisory Council has several different committees exploring financing, aesthetic design, engineering, diversity, and community impacts.

To answer your question, a PPP is being considered. Financial projections say that the expressway can't pay for itself purely through new tolls - tolls on existing highways would have to be raised.

In addition, the Advisory Council is looking to drastically reduce the cost of the project (by up to 40%). The hope is that much of this savings can be achieved by turning to a private company to build the road... private corporations can use non-union labor, they can leverage economies of scale, they have easier access to credit so they are more flexible in responding to cost-saving opportunities, etc.

Nowhereman1280 Jun 23, 2011 2:16 PM

The contract for CREATE's Englewood Flyover was signed today. Completion of the project is all but inevitable now. Should be starting work soon with completion some time in 2013.

Thank God the backassward republicans in the house weren't able to succeed in killing this critical piece of infrastructure.

ardecila Jun 25, 2011 11:43 PM

From the latest Elgin-O'Hare study (emphasis/annotation is mine):

Quote:

[Full build-out] construction cost is estimated at $3.57B, however this analysis only considers the proposed initial construction phase... which includes upfront construction costs of $2.2B and toll rates at $0.20 cents per mile escalating at 3% [per year]. In addition, it is assumed that... the public sector procures the project through a competitive process resulting in market or below market pricing, and that a $140M earmark and $35M publically-funded match will be available as an upfront subsidy.

Despite the [$175 million] subsidy and aggressive tolling, it appears that a Concessionaire would be unable to self-finance the entire project solely through the currently forecast toll revenues. In addition, should the public sector decide to retain the tolls and instead commit to make a long-term series of availability payments to the concessionaire, the gap between such payments and expected toll revenues accruing to the public sector would be substantial. However, more detailed traffic and revenue forecasting work would be appropriate before drawing firm conclusions.
In other words, even the initial phase of the project can't be fully funded through a public-private partnership. The tolling rates are set, I believe, to maximize revenue (any higher and they would see diminishing returns). The remainder of the cost that can't be funded through a PPP would have to be supplied by the government, either by using revenue from the existing Illinois Tollway system or by using state/federal highway funding. Also, as the engineering work progresses, there may be opportunities to reduce the cost.

Complicating matters is the fact that the Tollway doesn't really have any extra revenue to spend from their existing toll plazas. Whatever future toll revenue that isn't going towards debt service on the big "Congestion Relief Program" they just completed, will go towards the impending reconstruction of the Northwest Tollway and the new interchange at 294/57. There isn't really any money left over for "nice-to-have" projects like the Elgin-O'Hare, the 53 extension, the Illiana, or the Prairie Sprawlway.

Actually, the Illiana and/or Prairie Parkway might be a better fit for a PPP. They run through flat rural areas where land is relatively cheap and construction staging is easy. In contrast, the Elgin-O'Hare must be carefully threaded around other major pieces of infrastructure like the O'Hare flight paths, cargo facilities, railyards, arterial roads, water reclamation, etc.

ardecila Jun 26, 2011 7:57 PM

Oakton Construction Updates

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6959/oakton1.jpg

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/6792/oakton2.jpg

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/3220/oakton3.jpg

emathias Jun 26, 2011 9:02 PM

Anyone know why the CPD and CTA decided to close down the Belmont Red/Brown station today right in the midde of the Pride Parade? It caused quite a lot of chaos and was very inconvenient, too. It seemed like the CTA wasn't running nearly as many trains as it should have been, too. Friday's New York marriage announcement plus beautiful weather forecast for Sunday should have been plenty of notice to get a working train plan in place.

ardecila Jun 27, 2011 12:59 AM

I dunno... but weren't Wellington and Addison enough to handle the load?

emathias Jun 27, 2011 3:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5329442)
I dunno... but weren't Wellington and Addison enough to handle the load?

Maybe you enjoy walking a half mile out of your way on a lame foot with no notice and for no reported reason, but I think the least the CTA could do is provide an explanation for shutting down a major station in the middle of one of the largest annual events the city provides.

Or they could have put signs up that Belmont was closed along routes people would be walking so, for example, they could choose to walk to Southport for the Brown Line instead of walking additional distance south of Belmont from Addison.

Seriously, the no notice and no explanation stuff is simply unacceptable. This is the sort of reason why I don't have a monthly pass with the CTA. This sort of occurance is exactly why I'm a lot more prone to take taxis or simply walk than I am to use the CTA even though I'm usually a strong advocate of them when the issue of transit comes up. But truth be told, when it comes to voting with my dollars, the CTA simply isn't getting my "vote" nearly as often as it could if it were more reliable and/or explained itself better when it failed to be reliable.

Sometimes I think they're improving in that regard - and I think they improved their communications a LOT under Huberman - but since he left, I feel like it's sliding back into its previous information blackout habits.

ardecila Jun 27, 2011 5:10 AM

Why Southport? That's nowhere near the parade.

OhioGuy Jun 27, 2011 1:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5329664)
Why Southport? That's nowhere near the parade.

My assumption is that he was watching the parade up closer to Addison, wanted the brown line & opted to walk to Belmont to catch it there (rather than deal with a transfer), only to arrive and find the station closed. Considering where he was watching, had he known Belmont was closed, it might have been closer to walk to Southport to catch the brown line than where he presumably ended up catching the brown line (Wellington). It's just one of those situations where had the station closure been known, people (including emathias) might have altered their plans on where to catch a train.

orulz Jun 27, 2011 5:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5230994)
There’s been talk of adding a third track to the Rock between LaSalle and somewhere on the south side (74th? 79th? 87th?) in conjunction with eventually letting the Southwest Service on their tracks—that might help simplify traffic patterns. Unfortunately, I don’t see how they’d be able to fit one in or around this station.

Resurrecting an old question that never got answered.

The Englewood Flyover, now funded, will include three tracks for the RI lines. As noted above, there are plans for a significant increase in the number of trains going to Lasalle Street (with SWS and SES), so a full third track from 89th (where SES branches off) all the way in to Lasalle would likely be necessary in the future. However, the new station at 35th street only has two tracks. Can anyone confirm if/how they plan to accommodate a future third track through the new station?

The western (southbound?) platform is wider than the eastern (northbound?) one, which might leave room to narrow the SB platform and add a third track to the west. This would turn the current southbound track into a center express track (with no platform). This is just based on observation, I have no idea whether this is the real plan or not.


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