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ardecila Jul 15, 2013 3:30 AM

New Cermak Renderings

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/5512/kwbc.jpg

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6061/hbjr.jpg

http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/4672/39ld.jpg

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/1510/7sbu.jpg

Rizzo Jul 15, 2013 4:54 AM

Really looks nice. Though I wish the whole thing could be column free in entirety. The platform full of columns and equipment are core problems of the CTA's station obsolescence. This is a step in the right direction, but for the most part much of the CTA's stations will remain 20th century vintage with technology upgrades every decade or so.

chicagopcclcar1 Jul 15, 2013 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6198098)
Really looks nice. Though I wish the whole thing could be column free in entirety. The platform full of columns and equipment are core problems of the CTA's station obsolescence. This is a step in the right direction, but for the most part much of the CTA's stations will remain 20th century vintage with technology upgrades every decade or so.

Look again....the platforms ARE "column free"....It looks as if the berthing locations are offset. Northbound trains will berth at the southern end and southbound trains will berth at the northern end with about four car-lengths of overlap beneath the middle cocoon. (Like, but not exactly similar to Loyola on the Red line.) The platform at either end...far south and far north has the columns and a barrier located together only on one side. In the middle section of the platform, there are no columns. The roof is held up by the outside walls, making for the middle "cocoon." With entrances from the ground at the extreme ends, passengers coming up will have about four car lenths of boarding space open to one side only with the safety of the barrier wall and columns behind them.

DH

denizen467 Jul 15, 2013 11:24 PM

Interesting that the elevators are at the extreme ends, and not anywhere near the roadway. A bit user-unfriendly for people with mobility problems.

ardecila Jul 15, 2013 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6199038)
Interesting that the elevators are at the extreme ends, and not anywhere near the roadway. A bit user-unfriendly for people with mobility problems.

This can't really be avoided. There's only so much width between the tracks, and a mid-platform elevator would almost totally block the platform. This in turn would not meet ADA requirements because a wheelchair user could not safely pass the elevator on the sliver of platform that remains.

The only alternative would be to move the tracks apart, totally rebuilding the viaduct, and that adds so much extra cost it's not reasonable except at a major, major station like Fullerton/Belmont/Wilson. Or they could switch to a side platform design and get all the width they want, but that requires land takings to either side of CTA's ROW.

It's not as bad as it seems, though... the southern elevator is pretty close to the auxiliary entrance at 23rd, so elevator users won't need to trek back up to Cermak.

Rizzo Jul 16, 2013 2:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 6198993)
Look again....the platforms ARE "column free"....It looks as if the berthing locations are offset. Northbound trains will berth at the southern end and southbound trains will berth at the northern end with about four car-lengths of overlap beneath the middle cocoon. The platform at either end...far south and far north has the columns and a barrier located together only on one side. In the middle section of the platform, there are no columns. The roof is held up by the outside walls, making for the middle "cocoon." With entrances from the ground at the extreme ends, passengers coming up will have about four car lenths of boarding space open to one side only with the safety of the barrier wall and columns behind them.

DH

The platform is the whole thing, and as you described, it's full of columns on either end. This is where all the bad stuff happens in CTA stations. People hide and vandalize these areas because it's typically where no passengers go.

If you look at my post I mention that it is a big improvement. It's just a realization that we are stuck with alot of other stations that can't be rebuilt because it would be costly. If the platforms were totally devoid of any sort of fixtures with the exception of stairs and granite blocks for people to sit on, the stations would improve CTA operations. Easier to patrol and keep on eye on people and there's virtually nothing people could damage or deface...except maybe throw gum on the ground. Theoretically one station attendant should be able to see what everyone is doing all at once, but we know that's entirely impossible in current stations because the architecture doesn't allow it.

chicagopcclcar1 Jul 16, 2013 2:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6199229)
The platform is the whole thing, and as you described, it's full of columns on either end. This is where all the bad stuff happens in CTA stations. People hide and vandalize these areas because it's typically where no passengers go.

You're missing my point. The supports and the barrier are at the edge of the platform. So that where the columns and barriers are, trains only serve that part of the platform from one side only, NB or SB.

DH

Rizzo Jul 16, 2013 3:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 6199260)
You're missing my point. The supports and the barrier are at the edge of the platform. So that where the columns and barriers are, trains only serve that part of the platform from one side only, NB or SB.

DH

Yes, there are supports and a barrier at the edge of the platform, my point exactly.

chicagopcclcar1 Jul 16, 2013 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6199277)
Yes, there are supports and a barrier at the edge of the platform, my point exactly.

You're living in a dream world. The transit system is to transport people, not try to change criminal motivations. The barriers would improve safety on the narrow platforms. There are always going to be walls along the stairs, escalators, elevators, station house, on and on...... I'm through.

Rizzo Jul 16, 2013 4:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 6199308)
You're living in a dream world.

Maybe that's why I said "I wish." Whether you like my idea or not is no concern to me.

denizen467 Jul 16, 2013 8:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6199064)
The only alternative would be to move the tracks apart, totally rebuilding the viaduct, and that adds so much extra cost it's not reasonable except at a major, major station like Fullerton/Belmont/Wilson. Or they could switch to a side platform design and get all the width they want, but that requires land takings to either side of CTA's ROW.

I didn't realize they're just plugging in a station structure onto existing tracks that will sit largely untouched; I would've figured either a track was going to be shifted or they would use opposing-side platforms if capacity needs warranted it. But I guess as you suggest the project does not justify something of such cost. This raises a very interesting point: How much, or what sections, of CTA's el were constructed where the twin tracks are so far apart as to allow the insertion of a workably-sized station platform? Was this sparse stretch of the Green Line specifically built to enable future island platforms in specific areas; was it built along almost its entire length with such capability; or is this (I doubt) just dumb luck at Cermak?

emathias Jul 16, 2013 1:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6199484)
I didn't realize they're just plugging in a station structure onto existing tracks that will sit largely untouched; I would've figured either a track was going to be shifted or they would use opposing-side platforms if capacity needs warranted it. But I guess as you suggest the project does not justify something of such cost. This raises a very interesting point: How much, or what sections, of CTA's el were constructed where the twin tracks are so far apart as to allow the insertion of a workably-sized station platform? Was this sparse stretch of the Green Line specifically built to enable future island platforms in specific areas; was it built along almost its entire length with such capability; or is this (I doubt) just dumb luck at Cermak?

As can be seen in this 1913 route map, there used to be a third express track in between the local tracks.

Mr Downtown Jul 16, 2013 6:02 PM

The South Side L originally had two tracks with side platforms. Circa 1905 a third column was added to the structure (easy to spot even today) and a third (express) track created. In return the city required the relocation of the original ground-level station houses (only Garfield survives) and opening of a continuous alley under the Alley L.

A complete account of how the work was done was published in the Journal of the Western Society of Engineers in 1908.

http://archive.org/stream/journalofw...e/494/mode/2up

denizen467 Jul 16, 2013 11:46 PM

I like the historical info, but isn't all that irrelevant (to my question) given the Green Line rebuild of 1996? Or was the rebuild just a replacement of tracks but not the support structure?

Mr Downtown Jul 17, 2013 1:35 AM

Correct. They did almost no work on the structure other than replacing column footings. The Douglas (Pink) Line is the only one so far where the actual structure has been replaced. Even Brown Line was just stations.

denizen467 Jul 17, 2013 5:26 AM

Hang on, they closed the Green Line for like 2 years in the '90s for rebuilding and we're still stuck with a 100+ year old structure ??

And the Cermak viaduct area is presumably an exception to what you said (the renders above make this look clearly rebuilt - slender long spans, clean slender columns - and not something from an era when horses outnumbered cars) ? Driving under the Lake Street el in the West Loop to Western and beyond also does not feel like one is under a century-old structure.

ardecila Jul 17, 2013 6:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6200639)
Hang on, they closed the Green Line for like 2 years in the '90s for rebuilding and we're still stuck with a 100+ year old structure ??

And the Cermak viaduct area is presumably an exception to what you said (the renders above make this look clearly rebuilt - slender long spans, clean slender columns - and not something from an era when horses outnumbered cars) ? Driving under the Lake Street el in the West Loop to Western and beyond also does not feel like one is under a century-old structure.

At Morgan, the columns had to be replaced. The structure couldn't support anything more than the super-lightweight wooden platforms of yore, certainly not the concrete platforms that are standard today. People give the CTA crap for using wood on the Brown Line project but using concrete would have required a lot of expensive structural work.

I'm guessing the Cermak columns and footings will also be replaced with something stronger.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6227/6...cbfa3f2c_o.jpg

Mr Downtown Jul 17, 2013 2:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6200639)
Hang on, they closed the Green Line for like 2 years in the '90s for rebuilding and we're still stuck with a 100+ year old structure ??

Still blessed with a 121-year-old steel structure, perhaps you meant to say. One that was overengineered, experiences no spalling, needs only periodic paint, and in which damaged or compromised members can easily be welded or bolted into place.

If you can put up with the noise, steel rocks!

emathias Jul 17, 2013 4:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6200639)
Hang on, they closed the Green Line for like 2 years in the '90s for rebuilding and we're still stuck with a 100+ year old structure ??

And the Cermak viaduct area is presumably an exception to what you said (the renders above make this look clearly rebuilt - slender long spans, clean slender columns - and not something from an era when horses outnumbered cars) ? Driving under the Lake Street el in the West Loop to Western and beyond also does not feel like one is under a century-old structure.

Speaking of historic steel structures, this has always been one of my favorite photos:
http://afflictor.com/wp-content/uplo...lroad-1896.png
Afflictor.com

LouisVanDerWright Jul 17, 2013 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6200894)
Still blessed with a 121-year-old steel structure, perhaps you meant to say. One that was overengineered, experiences no spalling, needs only periodic paint, and in which damaged or compromised members can easily be welded or bolted into place.

If you can put up with the noise, steel rocks!

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Let's also not forget how much more aesthetically pleasing the old Elevated structures are than most modern viaducts. I'd much rather have finely detailed, heavily riveted (what was that about there being 200% or so more rivets than necessary due to overengineering?) steel structures than elongated Western/Belmont viaducts running all over the place. The tracks that they completely refurbished and repainted on Wabash look like a piece of art in much the same way that the Eiffel tower does.

Rizzo Jul 17, 2013 5:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6201127)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Let's also not forget how much more aesthetically pleasing the old Elevated structures are than most modern viaducts. I'd much rather have finely detailed, heavily riveted (what was that about there being 200% or so more rivets than necessary due to overengineering?) steel structures than elongated Western/Belmont viaducts running all over the place. The tracks that they completely refurbished and repainted on Wabash look like a piece of art in much the same way that the Eiffel tower does.

Completely agree. They've proven themselves easy to repair and upgrade.

wierdaaron Jul 17, 2013 6:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6201003)
Speaking of historic steel structures, this has always been one of my favorite photos:
http://afflictor.com/wp-content/uplo...lroad-1896.png
Afflictor.com

Wow, elevated rail with single supports (not pairs of legs like we're used to) looks totally strange to me, like it could tip over and pull the whole system down if one support got damaged.

Busy Bee Jul 17, 2013 7:22 PM

Though not all that much different than a single pier concrete aerial guideway.

emathias Jul 17, 2013 7:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6201157)
Wow, elevated rail with single supports (not pairs of legs like we're used to) looks totally strange to me, like it could tip over and pull the whole system down if one support got damaged.

Not a whole lot could have damaged them in those days. The cable cars wouldn't have gone fast enough to have gone very far if they derailed, and there weren't big mechanical trucks in common use yet. I suppose the biggest threat would be a fire or other problem causing a building to collapse on them.

wierdaaron Jul 17, 2013 8:39 PM

Truly an age of innocence.

ardecila Jul 17, 2013 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6200894)
Still blessed with a 121-year-old steel structure, perhaps you meant to say. One that was overengineered, experiences no spalling, needs only periodic paint, and in which damaged or compromised members can easily be welded or bolted into place.

If you can put up with the noise, steel rocks!

They aren't consistently over-engineered. A modern station requires concrete platforms, stairs, elevators, and so forth. ADA requirements demand wider platforms.

But yeah, I'm skeptical about the longevity of the newer structures. The new viaducts at Fullerton and Belmont retain water, so they need a complicated drainage system that will eventually fail. The new viaducts on the Douglas branch have the same construction as most highway structures, so they have probably a 40-year lifespan?

BTW, do you have any idea about the "Casperfield and Cleveland" rooftop sign in the above photo? I've seen those in vintage Chicago photos too. Are they painted on glass? Or are the letters hung off of a net? I'm trying to figure out how the transparency works.

J_M_Tungsten Jul 17, 2013 11:18 PM

Work to begin on $475M Chicago interchange project

The so-called Circle Interchange project involves reconstruction of the intersection of Interstate 90/94, Interstate 290 and Congress Parkway. The goal is to reduce traffic delays by about 50 percent.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-...change-project

ardecila Jul 18, 2013 12:38 AM

Yeah. The first contract is for the rebuilding of the Morgan St Bridge over 290, which will be let in August. Certain design elements will mirror South Lake Shore Drive.

http://s14.postimg.org/fnljkiz5t/slsd.jpg

J_M_Tungsten Jul 18, 2013 12:54 AM

Really? Have you seen/ do you have may renderings? I can't find anything on it except text.

ardecila Jul 18, 2013 1:08 AM

Some in here...

http://circleinterchange.org/pdf/doc...0for%20web.pdf

J_M_Tungsten Jul 18, 2013 2:02 AM

Very informative! Thanks

Mr Downtown Jul 18, 2013 2:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6201495)
"Casperfield and Cleveland" rooftop sign. . . . Are they painted on glass? Or are the letters hung off of a net?

Netting, I think. I've seen photos where the wires are visible. Much less wind loading to worry about.

Incidentally, the photo is a New York El line, not a Chicago L line. Those are electric streetcars running on The Bowery, but using conduit rather than overhead wires. Another view:

http://www.oranga.com/pics1/scan8856.jpg

ardecila Jul 18, 2013 3:01 AM

Newer stuff here:
http://www.circleinterchange.org/pdf...0community.pdf

denizen467 Jul 18, 2013 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6200894)
Still blessed with a 121-year-old steel structure

Only if Green Line customers won't have to give up their rail for another 2 years in the next couple decades to finally replace the support structure. Is it expected to hit 151 or 181 or 201 years (assuming ridership demand doesn't warrant expansion/demolition) given it's come this far? I actually don't understand what is meant by replacing "column footings" - just the concrete portion comprising the bottom couple feet, or some of the steel?

Why did they need a 28 month shutdown if they weren't actually replacing it? What was the main reason for not using the long shutdown as an opportunity to rebuild or reroute, for example to reflect the South Side's population distribution changes in the intervening decades (century), and the fact that a Red Line now exists nearby?

denizen467 Jul 18, 2013 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6201772)
Incidentally, the photo is a New York El line, not a Chicago L line.

Are NYers more consistent about using the term "El" than Chicagoans are about their heavy rail system nickname? Between the CTA, the local press, and private citizens, there seems to be no agreement on a single moniker, which is embarrassing. I think the worst form is having the single letter in quotes.

K 22 Jul 18, 2013 1:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6202011)
Are NYers more consistent about using the term "El" than Chicagoans are about their heavy rail system nickname? Between the CTA, the local press, and private citizens, there seems to be no agreement on a single moniker, which is embarrassing. I think the worst form is having the single letter in quotes.

Nope. Few here and there refer it to as an "El" - most just call it the subway, elevated or not or just simply "the train".

Mr Downtown Jul 18, 2013 1:42 PM

CTA, the Sun-Times, and the Tribune all write "L." It has a long unwavering history with the actual operators of the service, and is fiercely defended by all right-thinking people.

The Chicago Reader, Chicago magazine, and Crain's Chicago Business write "El."

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 6202005)
Is it expected to hit 151 or 181 or 201 years?

Talk at the time was that the renewal of the steel would allow it to last another 100 years. And there were a few short sections that got all new structure.

Quote:

what is meant by replacing "column footings" - just the concrete portion comprising the bottom couple feet, or some of the steel?
A little of both. Especially on the South Side, the concrete footings were shallow, and salt spray had corroded the bottom of the columns. So deeper footings were poured that also stuck up higher above the ground, and the columns lost their bottom 18 inches and were welded to new bottom plates, bolted to the taller footings.

Quote:

What was the main reason for not using the long shutdown as an opportunity to rebuild or reroute
The line goes through black neighborhoods. You simply can't have a rational discussion about rerouting. There are just too many decades of mistrust, fueled by political opportunists. Look at how difficult it was to convince people that the Red Line's complete replacement was different from the Brown Line station reconstruction.

ardecila Jul 20, 2013 12:15 AM

Greg Hinz is reporting that the Infrastructure Trust is looking at some interesting projects.

I think we knew about the Red Line extension previously, but they're looking at station rehab/replacements as well. The article discusses the possibility of "neighborhood parking lots" near CTA stations, which seems like a good idea for every business district in the city except the ones near CTA stations.

Also mentioned was the possibility of heated streets, which presumably would be financed through bonding against the savings in the snowplow and resurfacing budgets.

HowardL Jul 20, 2013 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6204062)
Also mentioned was the possibility of heated streets, which presumably would be financed through bonding against the savings in the snowplow and resurfacing budgets.

Honestly, that along with heated sidewalks has been on my mind for 30 years. I just always assumed it was too pie-in-the-sky, Jetsons talk.

If that were seriously proposed and even if it meant an increase in taxes to fund, I would support it. We can't control the cold yet, but if we could start to control impassable/slick-as-crap-death-trap sidewalks, Chicago could change its image as a snowbound place to avoid during winter.

And I would no longer be tempted to move to LA when I retire.

Beta_Magellan Jul 21, 2013 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6204062)
I think we knew about the Red Line extension previously, but they're looking at station rehab/replacements as well. The article discusses the possibility of "neighborhood parking lots" near CTA stations, which seems like a good idea for every business district in the city except the ones near CTA stations.

Based on the context of the article (link here)—which also discussed things like solar farms and urban agriculture—I got the impression that this would be something targeted more at neighborhoods with pretty low land values on the south and west sides, along the lines of the 55th Street elevated station park-and-ride. While it’s in abstract not a good thing to put near a transit station, it’s still a better than a vacant lot and effectively banks the land for a potential future (if, at this point, unlikely-looking) when there’s demand for some decent new construction near the station. Adding some park-and-ride capacity might also not be a bad idea for some of the stations on the outer stretches of the Dan Ryan or Eisenhower lines, either.

Or at least I hope that’s the case. If these are put along Broadway or Milwaukee, for instance, it would be an absolute disaster (though I expect that’s not the case), but given the heavily parking-centric dynamic of neighborhood politics I can easily imagine that becoming the case.

Rizzo Jul 21, 2013 1:47 AM

[QUOTE=HowardL;6204092]Honestly, that along with heated sidewalks has been on my mind for 30 years. I just always assumed it was too pie-in-the-sky, Jetsons talk.

If that were seriously proposed and even if it meant an increase in taxes to fund, I would support it. We can't control the cold yet, but if we could start to control impassable/slick-as-crap-death-trap sidewalks, Chicago could change its image as a snowbound place to avoid during winter.

A few Michigan cities bought into this technology in the 90's and it's performed well. I worked at a store fronting a heated street and we never had to shovel or salt. Sometimes the system would be overwhelmed in a snowstorm but that was expected. I'm sure they are more efficient than ever now

HowardL Jul 21, 2013 2:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6204817)
A few Michigan cities bought into this technology in the 90's and it's performed well. I worked at a store fronting a heated street and we never had to shovel or salt. Sometimes the system would be overwhelmed in a snowstorm but that was expected. I'm sure they are more efficient than ever now

I wonder why this never caught on. It is so intuitive. I don't know but maybe it is crazy expensive to implement.

Mr Downtown Jul 21, 2013 2:42 AM

And nothing says you're serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions like attempting to heat the entire atmosphere of the earth.

ardecila Jul 21, 2013 3:02 AM

As far as I can tell the existing systems mostly use waste heat from power plants, incinerators, and so forth. It's unclear to me what scale of system is being proposed for Chicago. I imagine it would be a good counterpart to the BRT lines, which would concentrate pedestrian traffic and complicate snowplowing.

The article mentions solar arrays on vacant land like the one in West Pullman, so this energy consumption could be offset by adding more clean power sources.

Beta_Magellan Jul 21, 2013 3:19 AM

I’ve heard of sidewalk and street de-icing as an application for ground-source heat pumps, though I can’t think of a place where it’s already been tried.

emathias Jul 21, 2013 4:59 AM

[QUOTE=Hayward;6204817]
Quote:

Originally Posted by HowardL (Post 6204092)
Honestly, that along with heated sidewalks has been on my mind for 30 years. I just always assumed it was too pie-in-the-sky, Jetsons talk.

If that were seriously proposed and even if it meant an increase in taxes to fund, I would support it. We can't control the cold yet, but if we could start to control impassable/slick-as-crap-death-trap sidewalks, Chicago could change its image as a snowbound place to avoid during winter.

A few Michigan cities bought into this technology in the 90's and it's performed well. I worked at a store fronting a heated street and we never had to shovel or salt. Sometimes the system would be overwhelmed in a snowstorm but that was expected. I'm sure they are more efficient than ever now

Lots of buildings in the Loop have heated sidewalks.

Mr Downtown Jul 21, 2013 4:57 PM

Which ones? The Hilton took theirs out in 1985.

emathias Jul 22, 2013 4:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6205122)
Which ones? The Hilton took theirs out in 1985.

"Lots" might have been an exaggeration, but the Sears Tower does (or did - I'm not aware of any removal, though).

denizen467 Jul 23, 2013 3:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6202076)
The line goes through black neighborhoods. You simply can't have a rational discussion about rerouting. There are just too many decades of mistrust, fueled by political opportunists. Look at how difficult it was to convince people that the Red Line's complete replacement was different from the Brown Line station reconstruction.

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, nor a way to plan a heavy rail system, and ... oh, forget it. I just hope future histories of the city's politics give as much attention to all the things that failed to materialize as they generally do to all the circuslike things that did occur.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6202076)
CTA, the Sun-Times, and the Tribune all write "L." It has a long unwavering history with the actual operators of the service, and is fiercely defended by all right-thinking people.

Mr Downtown, the key here is whether the letter is enclosed in quotation marks. Yours isn't, but the CTA's and the papers' is. I imagine they have been employing summer interns for all proofreading duties.

denizen467 Jul 23, 2013 3:18 AM

Heard on the radio today: Ald Fioretti is talking about opening the McCormick busway to taxicabs, in exchange for a fee (I think it was $1 per run). Since congestion-period travel times between the Loop and McCormick can get close to a half hour (when it's really bad), a premium 8-minute busway run is thought to be a win for all sides.

Discuss.

Edit: Details in a Sun Times article.


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