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

ardecila May 1, 2020 5:21 PM

Can't speak for all IDOT projects but the work on Circle Interchange is full steam ahead... there may be issues on a project basis though. If one worker on the Salt Creek bridge was confirmed positive, they may have quarantined everyone and paused work.

Or they may have critical issues with material availability. The apartment building going up across the street from me paused for 3 weeks in March with half the podium poured, supposedly because they couldn't get concrete from the batch plant.

jpIllInoIs May 7, 2020 1:20 AM

AMtrak StPaul-Milw-Chi 2nd round trip
 
"The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized the Fiscal Years 2018-2020 R&E Grants Program, which provides operating assistance to initiate, restore, or enhance intercity passenger rail transportation through eligible projects that may include adding frequencies to current services, extending current services to new markets or station stops, offering new on-board services, initiating new service, or restoring a previously operated service."

Funding under this program was made available by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, and the Consolidated Appropriations Acts of 2019, 2018, and 2017.


https://railroads.dot.gov/newsroom/p...-restore-and-0

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service Project $12,569,200
Chicago, IL, to Saint Paul, MN


The project adds a second daily roundtrip passenger train between Union Depot in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Union Station in Chicago, Illinois. These endpoints are currently served along Amtrak’s Empire Builder long distance service. This additional train will provide travelers with more reliable service at convenient times between Saint Paul and Chicago, as poor on-time performance from the eastbound Empire Builder currently results in unreliable daily passenger service from Saint Paul. The proposed service will make 12 station stops in St. Paul, Minnesota; Red Wing, Minnesota; Winona, Minnesota; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Tomah, Wisconsin; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Portage, Wisconsin; Columbus, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Sturtevant, Wisconsin; Glenview, Illinois; and Chicago, Illinois. The project supplements the existing Empire Builder and Hiawatha routes with passenger rail service approximately four to six hours apart from the existing Empire Builder schedule and increases intercity transportation options and connectivity for rural communities between St. Paul and Milwaukee.

jtown,man May 11, 2020 12:09 PM

Can anyone 'in the know' inform us if it is possible that local and state governments could ramp up road construction in a really quick fashion? Like right now, it would be a perfect time to do all the road work for obvious reasons. Is there even a mechanism for doing this or am I making it out to be too simple?

ardecila May 11, 2020 2:25 PM

^ It's hard to cycle this stuff up and down on short notice. Nobody has any more money to pour into construction than they did before the pandemic, but now budgets are stretched even tighter. The phrase "shovel-ready project" is kind of a joke, because engineering is expensive and cities/states don't usually pay for final design/engineering until they already have the money for construction lined up. So even if you hand governments the money tomorrrow, it may still take 12 months to complete the design work. And that's assuming all the planning and environmental impact studies are done - if not, add another 2 years at least. Even under normal circumstances, the system for project approval is designed purposefully to slow the process down as much as possible, because nobody wants another freeway cutting through their precious neighborhood and displacing people... a VERY long timeline in theory allows for years of public debate, legal challenges, and careful consideration of every minor little impact.

It's also tough for governments to front-load projects that are already approved/designed/funded, because the workforce in the various roadbuilding contractors is limited, and they won't staff up/train new employees without a guarantee of several good years of work.
The most governments can do is speed up projects that are already under construction, by doing larger and longer closures of roads to traffic. Last weekend they closed ALL FOUR outbound lanes of the Kennedy to demolish part of the bridge at Montrose. But even that window is closing, as businesses start to re-open and everyone is scared off transit - congestion will return to pre-pandemic levels soon, even before businesses are fully re-open. Governments can also speed up small projects (resurfacing, restriping, etc) using city workers to do the design and construction, if they have the money to pay them overtime. CDOT has striped some bike lanes, done some curb bumpouts around town, etc but nothing huge.

Mr Downtown May 12, 2020 12:49 AM

AIUI, CDOT has been pushing utilities to accelerate their anticipated pavement openings while traffic was so light. So not what we would think of as serious road construction, but the kind of annoyances that peeve motorists.

ardecila May 12, 2020 2:41 PM

That's something, I guess...

Tom In Chicago May 12, 2020 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8919286)
AIUI, CDOT has been pushing utilities to accelerate their anticipated pavement openings while traffic was so light. So not what we would think of as serious road construction, but the kind of annoyances that peeve motorists.

Right. . . anecdotally there have been quite a few places in and around the Loop that I've seen being worked on for one reason or another. . . I thought surely they had these projects on deck and are trying to use the opportunity of light traffic to wrap it up. . .

. . .

ardecila Jun 2, 2020 8:41 PM

Belmont Flyover - 06/02/20

About half of the columns are cast, and all the caissons are done... wouldn't be surprised if they start setting the steel beams soon. Of course the flyover itself is only part of the project, they're also rebuilding the entire Main Line structure between Belmont and Addison in Phase 2.

https://i.imgur.com/tnY38x0.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/k26gQni.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/SDQV627.jpg

Tcmetro Jun 3, 2020 5:10 AM

Thanks for the pics. Was not aware of this progress!

Crawford Jun 3, 2020 12:16 PM

That flyover is pretty cool. This is just north of the Belmont stop?

ardecila Jun 3, 2020 2:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8940968)
That flyover is pretty cool. This is just north of the Belmont stop?

Yes; it will carry northbound Brown Line trains over the mainline to eliminate conflicts at a flat junction and allow more trains in the future. CTA had to tear down, partially demo or relocate 20 properties, so there was a bit of controversy... but it seems like the construction team has been good neighbors since the demolition. They ought to be, considering how much taxpayer money they're spending on this thing...

N830MH Jun 13, 2020 5:52 AM

Hi all,

CTA Yellow Line Train Derailed By Fallen Tree Limb

https://patch.com/illinois/skokie/ct...6gBcskwuVMsclE

Did you see that? The tree fallen down near the trains, but they got almost flip it. Luckily, nobody who got hurts. They delayed for 5 hours.

jpIllInoIs Jul 16, 2020 2:14 PM

Metra infill Peterson/Ridge
 
https://metrarail.com/about-metra/ne...-ridge-station


"The project, which is expected to start this fall and take about 18 months to complete, includes construction of two six-car platforms; a new pedestrian bridge over Peterson Avenue; heated concrete stairs and ADA-compliant ramps; a glass and masonry warming house with side canopies and metal roof; two shelters with on-demand heating; an access drive with a cul-de-sac turnaround and ADA pick-up/drop-off; five ADA parking spaces and 44 pay parking spaces along Ravenswood Avenue; bicycle parking; a plaza with associated landscaping and irrigation system; reworked traffic signals for the station entrance; and the rehabilitation of the existing bridges at Peterson and Ridge avenues."

I hope those parking spaces dont replace the cool neighborhood garden. Google streetview

Busy Bee Jul 16, 2020 7:18 PM

My goodness the agency needs a talented in-house architect.

ardecila Jul 16, 2020 9:14 PM

I've seen various renderings, all essentially the same but with different materials.

Looks like it started off with good intentions in 2013, with a decent charcoal brick, some nice recessed panels and zinc roofing:
https://mariociaralli.carbonmade.com/projects/4971257

And got killed by poor material choices. "Community feedback" maybe... someone, somewhere thinks this reject 1990s Orland Park-style design is just right, and spoke loudly about it to the alderman or someone at Metra.



At least the Auburn Park Metra station is looking... interesting? There's a full platform canopy, screening/vegetation on the side of the track structure, a halfway decent plaza, and they may be keeping this nice terra cotta wall from the 1920s.

Or maybe they're building this design, which looks a lot cheaper. Either way it's better than Peterson/Ridge, although the park and ride is a little disappointing when the highest-ridership bus in the city is right there for transfers.

Mr Downtown Aug 28, 2020 4:10 PM

From Crain's:

Progress on South Side transit-boosting plan

With the help of a big-name consultant who’s used to dealing with divided government, the Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle administrations may finally be nearing a deal on a pilot program to expand public transit on the South Side and suburbs.

At issue is a plan that has been debated for well over a year to expand service on Metra’s electric and Rock Island lines by adding more trains, especially during non-rush periods, and cutting fares to the same or less than the Chicago Transit Authority charges. Lightfoot and the CTA have reacted negatively to that, even though Preckwinkle has offered to make up any loss of revenue to the CTA during the test period, leaving the two sides stalemated.
***
“We have come a long way. We’re close to having something that will work for everybody,” said Randy Blankenhorn, a former Illinois secretary of transportation who earlier headed the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

Blankenhorn, who was retained in January at $10,000 a month, declined to provide details but said he expects to present a detailed package by the end of September.
***
Meanwhile, in an apparently related action, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration today announced a $330,000 "innovation grant" to Cook County to "target outreach to low-income residents and potential new transit customers about reduced fares and seamless travel options" in cooperation with Metra and CTA


https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg...-boosting-plan

ardecila Aug 28, 2020 4:36 PM

^ Devil is in the details on this. I'm hopeful that Lightfoot and Preckwinkle can bury the hatchet, at least on this one issue, but very skeptical that Metra can reform even in small ways to actually make Metra Electric or Rock Island into efficient regional lines.

What's the best case scenario here, 30 minute headways with some complicated arrangement for discounted transfers to CTA buses?

Mr Downtown Aug 28, 2020 5:54 PM

I'm not sure additional trains are in the scheme, at least initially, but full fare integration is. You could board a Metra train same as a CTA train, same transfer charge.

There are lots of empty seats on especially the Metra Electric. Letting folks in Riverdale, Harvey, Robbins, or Blue Island more easily get to downtown or North Side service or retail jobs could mean a lot for southern Cook County.

SIGSEGV Aug 28, 2020 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9025512)
I'm not sure additional trains are in the scheme, at least initially, but full fare integration is. You could board a Metra train same as a CTA train, same transfer charge.

There are lots of empty seats on especially the Metra Electric. Letting folks in Riverdale, Harvey, Robbins, or Blue Island more easily get to downtown or North Side service or retail jobs could mean a lot for southern Cook County.

The biggest benificiary would be Hyde Park of course, which already has 20 minute ME headways for much of the day.

Busy Bee Aug 28, 2020 9:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9025512)
There are lots of empty seats on especially the Metra Electric.

The South Side and near suburbs being built for about a million more people than it currently has may have something to do with that.


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