USA: Chicago Transit Authority has awarded Kiewit Infrastructure a $105m contract covering the first phase of track renewals on the Forest Park branch of the metro network’s Blue Line.

Phase one includes reconstruction of the trackbed between UIC-Halsted and Illinois Medical District stations, which runs in the median strip of the I-290 Dwight D Eisenhower Expressway, as well as accessibility improvements at Racine station which will be undertaken under a separate contract.

Reconstruction of further sections of the Forest Park branch will be undertaken in several phases as funding becomes available.

Announcing the contract on December 14, CTA said the line had been built in the late 1950s. While it had received routine maintenance and targeted investments, many of the track components were now life expired. The branch currently has many temporary speed restrictions, and the renewal programme would help to eliminate these, reducing average travel times by 2 min.