Chicago’s Cermak-McCormick Place Elevated Green Line Station Project was recently named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Structures category at a cost between $25 - $75 million. This award honors agencies that include public structure preservation/rehabilitation, municipal buildings, and parks.

For 2016, the team of winners includes the Chicago Department of Transportation, as the managing agency; F.H. Paschen, S. N. Nielsen, as the primary contractor, andthe prime consultant leading the construction effort was H. W. Lochner Inc., as well as T.Y. Lin International as the primary consultant, who will all be presented with the award during APWA’s 2016 PWX Conference Awards Ceremony in Minneapolis, MN during August 28-31, 2016.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories in the Small Cities/Rural Communities area: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures, and Transportation.

The Chicago Transit Authority’s Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station fills a crucial transportation gap in the Near South Side of Chicago that has been present since 1977 with the demolition of the previous station at this location. The $50 million investment made by the Chicago Department of Transportation for the station construction will boost the economic investment Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made in the McCormick Place Convention Center, and the developing residential neighborhoods in the Near South Side. The new station also adds to the city’s efforts to revitalize the adjacent historic Motor Row area into an entertainment district.

This Green Line Station project consisted of building a new, fully accessible station in and around a historic 100-year-old elevated rapid transit structure, while maintaining full transit service. The new work was completed within the limits of the existing right-of-way.

The new station’s most distinguishing element is the structural steel tube that serves as a windbreak for the passenger boarding areas. By pushing the structural components outside the platform, the enclosure provides passengers with the maximum area for boarding and de-boarding while addressing the constrained site, which can accommodate a 15-foot platform width. Work to accommodate the tube and platforms included adding six reinforced concrete piers located between the existing steel bents.

American Public Works Association (APWA)

T.Y. Lin International was retained by the Chicago Department of Transportation for both Phase I and II Design Services for the new station. The T.Y. Lin team performed a detailed structural inspection of the over 100-year-old existing steel elevated rail structure and provided a detailed structural analysis of the existing steel framing system. The existing structure was rated to determine if any retrofits were warranted. Based on the load rating, it was decided that the new station’s platform would be built completely independent from the existing track structure so that no additional loads would be applied to the track stringer or bents.

For Phase I Preliminary Engineering, the T.Y. Lin team prepared three alternative station layouts and space plans for each level. T.Y. Lin also submitted documents to show compliance with ADA requirements needed to secure permitting with the City of Chicago Department of Buildings.

Additional work during Phase I included special waste determination, determination of construction phasing to maintain CTA service and determination of potential weekend shutdowns to accommodate erection of structural elements for the new station. Other work included a CTA system analysis and recommendations for signal, communication and train traction power improvements, a topographic survey, and geotechnical program. During Phase I, the team coordinated with impacted utilities, performed sewer televising, coordinated with the City of Chicago Board of Underground, and developed a utility mitigation plan.

For more information on the APWA 2016 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations and Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.

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