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

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.


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