Recent developments

A comprehensive improvement plan for the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line O'Hare Branch train (the "Blue Line Project") was recently announced (view press release here). The improvements, which are expected to cost $492 million and generate over 1,300 jobs, will create funding and construction opportunities.

Improvements proposed

The Chicago Blue Line O'Hare Branch train connects Chicago O'Hare International Airport, the nation's second-busiest, to downtown Chicago and beyond. Over 80,000 customers use the line each weekday and logged approximately 25 million rides in 2012. Ridership is expected to follow an upward trend, with weekday ridership having grown 25% in the last five years and 33% in the last ten.

The implementation of the Blue Line Project, called Your New Blue, is intended to provide faster, more comfortable and more reliable commutes along a 12.5-mile stretch of the line. It will include station renovations, platform repairs, an elevator installation, track and signal improvements, traction power upgrades, new water management systems and wireless infrastructure upgrades. The Blue Line Project is the largest comprehensive investment for the Blue Line in thirty years.

Local, state and federal funding sources will be tapped for the Blue Line Project. Although project schedules are still being finalized, construction is expected to commence in 2014 with track work. Station renovations, power upgrades and signal improvements are expected to follow over four years.

Conclusion

If you are interested in participating in the Blue Line Project funding or construction please let us know so that we can inform you of bidding deadlines once they are released, as well as future developments.

Baker & McKenzie has provided legal counsel in some of the most significant and high profile infrastructure transactions and can advise you on project financings and project arrangements/agreements. We represent developers, sponsors, investors, contractors, operators, governments and public agencies, commercial and investment banks, and bi- and multi-lateral agencies. Baker & McKenzie also offers its clients an understanding of the key drivers that influence public agencies in evaluating bids and a proven project management capability and ability to bring together legal arrangements in complex infrastructure projects in tight timeframes. Please let us know if we can assist you with this or any other project.