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Red Line Construction: 10 Things You Didn't Know

By Casey Cora | June 12, 2013 7:01am
 From railroad ties to bikes left behind, DNAinfo.com Chicago rounded up some interesting facts about the Red Line revamp.
Ten Things You Didn’t Know
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CHICAGO — South Side rail and bus commuters already know it's going to be a long summer, what with the country's "biggest, most ambitious public works project" taking place smack-dab along their route to work and back.

So here are a few of the lesser-known facts and figures about the $425 million Red Line reconstruction project, according to the CTA:

The number of articles in the Red Line Bill of Rights, an effort by community groups that aims to establish a pact between the CTA and riders during the overhaul, including fast and reliable service, transparency, jobs, "clear and proactive" communication, amenities to accommodate extra capacity at stations and the "opportunity to be listened to" throughout the project.

Estimated number of oak railroad ties to be installed along the expanse of the renovation project. Placed end-to-end, they'd stretch about 90 miles — roughly the distance from Chicago to Milwaukee.

Weight, in tons, of track ballast to be used for this project. In sailing, ballast is what's used to stabilize a vessel. Here, it's used for the crushed stone that's packed underneath and around railroad tracks.

Length in linear feet of new rails for the expanse of the whole project.

The CTA’s locked-in cost per gallon of fuel for 2013. The national average currently hovers around $3.62 per gallon. In Chicago? $4.24 per gallon.

The percentage of Red Line track considered “slow zones” before the start of the project. The CTA says the slow zones will be eliminated completely after the reconstruction. "Brand new railroad = no slow zones," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said in an emailed statement.

$220.1 million
Winning bid from Kiewit Infrastructure Corporation for track work. The company will use 23 subcontractors for the project, with a total of $66 million going to “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise” contractors.

$43.8 million
Winning bid from F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen and Associates, LLC for station work. The company will use a number of DBE subcontractors, with $17.5 million headed to DBE firms.

Number of CTA buses used as free shuttles during the length of the project, which is expected to wrap up in October. 

Estimated number of bicycles left behind at shuttered Red Line stops, nine of which were located at the 35th Street/White Sox stop, according to the Sun-Times. Forgotten bikes can be picked up at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St.