Digest: South Shore approves design-build contract for West Lake extension

News Wire Digest for July 21: DC Metro sets plans to increase rail, bus service; MTA set to begin final Sandy-related tunnel project
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A South Shore train passes the Beverly Shores station in June 2020. The commuter railroad's parent agency has approved a major contract for construction of the West Lake branch.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Tuesday morning rail transit news:

Contract approved for South Shore's West Lake project

The agency which oversees South Shore Line commuter train operation has selected two Chicago-based companies to lead design and construction of the planned West Lake Corridor branch line, which could see construction work begin this fall. The Times of Northwest Indiana reports a joint venture of companies F.H. Paschen and Ragnar Benson would receive almost $555 million as the design-build team for the 8-mile line from Hammond to Dyer, Ind., under the contract approved unanimously on Monday by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District board. The go-ahead to begin is awaiting finalization of a grant from the Federal Transportation Administration which would cover $355 million of the project’s estimated $933 million cost [see “Digest: Construction of new South Shore branch could begin in October,” July 17, 2020].

DC Metro to increase rail service on Aug. 16
DC Metro will increase rail frequency and extend its hours of service as of Aug. 16 as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, restoring most service to pre-coronavirus levels. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Metrorail service will increase by 15 hours per week, with trains running from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Weekday Red Line service will operate every 5 minutes during peak periods and 12 minutes off-peak, with other lines every 8 minutes and 15 minutes off-peak. Bus service will be expanded a week later.

MTA plans August start on F line tunnel rebuild
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has awarded a contract to rebuild the Rutgers Tube, the tunnel that carries the subway F train between Brooklyn and Manhattan. It will be the last of the MTA projects to address damage from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, and is expected to be the quickest of the projects — taking 14 months, beginning in August and concluding next spring, with work done overnight and on weekends. The contract for the $90.5 million project is subject to MTA board approval on Wednesday; amNY reports the board’s approval is not a certainty, given the agency’s projected $10 billion deficit because of COVID-19 losses.



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