The CTA RPM with Walsh-Fluor

Rent crane

Client

Chicago Transit Authority

General Contractor

Walsh-Fluor Design-Build

Location

Uptown

Over the course of a year, La Grange Crane mixes and matches its full fleet of cranes for Walsh-Fluor Design during the CTA RPM Project. The monumental project is part of a multi-phase modernization program to bring the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red, Purple, and Brown lines up to speed. Look and see how a century’s worth of rail infrastructure is replaced without impacting millions of daily commuters.

There is a full-scale infrastructure project sweeping through Chicago’s northern neighborhoods to the tune of $2.1 billion dollars.

Following an 18-month qualifications review, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) awarded Walsh-Fluor Design Build a contract for the RPM Phase One project in late 2018. The multi-phase Red Purple Modernization Program aims to increase efficiency, economics, and rider experience of Chicago’s most traveled track – The Red Line. A decade long study and outreach showed train capacity reaching a metaphorical tipping-point – an inability to add more trains to peak periods.

Public transportation is simple to the average commuter. Get them where they need to go, as quickly as they can get there.

Delivering, for the CTA and Walsh-Fluor, is a bit more complicated.

The RPM corridor is a 9.6 mile stretch of track originally built in 1924. It is flanked on both sides by a century of urban development. Private citizens and local business rely on the commuter lines to make a living. Turning over four active tracks does not happen overnight.

In fact, it happens over the course of many nights, with a similar stop-go-stop-go approach you might experience on the 09:10 from Loyola to Bryn Mawr.

The project’s success, and the public’s opinion, rests on Walsh-Fluor’s ability to make incremental progress while maintaining a safe and comfortable morning commute for the nine-to-fivers.

La Grange Crane Service has been a participating member of the RPM team under Walsh-Fluor from day one. The last year has resulted in dozens of crane mobilizations to a handful of constrictive locations. La Grange Crane is a complementary component to the teams of Walsh, Railworks Track Services, and Meade Electric who are responsible for the removal of existing track, implementation of new electrical components, and installation of new tracks.

Safety is the key component for the CTA.

Many different aspects of the modernization project take place concurrently. Walsh- Fluor has assembled a troop of young talented engineers to oversee various scopes of work under the direction of Project Manager Rob Cheeseman. Including but not limited to:

  • Nick Heinz – Civil Assistant Project Manager
  • Brian Horecky – Assistant Project Manager
  • Leah George – Project Engineer
  • Nicholas Jackson – Track Project Manager
  • Russ Ferro – Project Engineer

La Grange Crane Service’s ability to consistently deliver crane safety documentation to all-hands on deck is fundamental in allowing subcontractors to work according to the site’s distinct plan, every time. However, it cannot happen without the trust and communication of exceptional partners.

The CTA RPM project is not slated for completion until 2025. Most of the work for Walsh-Fluor lies ahead.

La Grange Crane will get them where they need to go, as quickly and safely as we can get there.

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