CTA issues RFQ for Red Line Extension project

Oct. 31, 2022
This is the first step in a two-step procurement process on a project that will extend the Red Line from the existing southern terminal at 95th Street to 130th Street.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a pool of contracting teams that can demonstrate the ability to design and build the mainline infrastructure and stations portion of the Red Line Extension (RLE) project.

CTA will invite potential bidders to submit proposals during the Request for Proposals (RFP) portion of the procurement process. CTA expected an RFP to be issued to a finalized pool of teams in mid-2023 and notes proposals will be considered on a variety of criteria, including experience, price and other factors.

“The Red Line Extension is more than just a transit project, it is a long-overdue investment for Chicago’s Far South Side that will provide benefits that extend to all corners of the city,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “There’s never been a better time than now to advance such a project, which is why we are full-steam ahead and beginning the lengthy process of seeking out qualified contractors for this complex project so that we can stay on course with the project timeline. The sooner we can award a contract, the sooner we are able to start extending contracting opportunities to small, disadvantaged local businesses and creating good paying jobs for Chicagoans.”

The 5.6-mile planned extension would bring CTA’s Red Line south from its existing terminal at 95th Street to 130th Street and include four accessible rail stations, as well as a modern, efficient railcar storage yard and maintenance facility that the authority says will benefit the entire line.

The RLE project is expected to create 6,200 direct construction jobs. CTA will host numerous outreach events to encourage participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified firms and other minority owned firms that wish to participate in the project to meet the DBE goals that will be assessed. Additionally, the project RFP will include a section that requires proposers to describe their plans to reach out to the DBE community and their strategies to meet or exceed the workforce goals that will be established for the project.

Delivering the $3.6 billion RLE project is dependent on funding. The project entered New Starts Project Development within the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants program in 2020. CTA explains beginning the process of pre-qualifying potential contractors will help expedite overall project development and ensure CTA maintains its timeline to begin construction as early as 2025.

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