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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CTA turns to private sector to complete Block 37 project


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) plans to seek a private-sector partner to complete the Block 37 project, which calls for building a transit center, connecting underground track and providing direct service to O’Hare and Midway airports.

Escalating construction costs have caused the project’s budget to soar high above the $213.3 million projected in 2003, CTA said.

The agency plans to continue constructing underground tunnels to connect the Red and Blue lines to the new station, and work with Block 37 master developer Joseph Freed & Associates to complete the station’s shell. Scheduled to be complete by 2008’s end, the work will cost CTA another $45.6 million. The authority won’t completely build out the station or create the final tunnel connections because the final layout, technology and finishes will depend on the private partner’s operating plan. However, CTA must complete the preliminary work in order to attract a private partner, according to the agency.