CTA to pay $1 million for electrical work on unplugged station

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CTA board members Wednesday agreed to pay more than $1 million for electrical work completed six years ago on the $218 million CTA “Super Station” — now, basically, a big hole in the ground to nowhere.

The station, located under Block 37, was supposed to connect downtown by express train to O’Hare International Airport, but was mothballed in 2008 as wildly over budget.

It has since been sealed off but left in a condition — without rail tracks — that could be converted to a station some day, CTA officials said.

At the moment, “It resembles a large, unfinished basement,’’ CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said Wednesday.

The station was part of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s dream to connect the Red and Blue Lines underground by tunnels and a station into express train service to O’Hare.  In 2008, after more than $100 million in cost overruns, work on the station was halted while the city tried to find private partners on the deal. They never surfaced.

While the project was still alive, ComEd did utility work on two tunnels that were supposed to connect the Super Station to the Dearborn and State Street subways. That work included relocation of electrical duct banks, manholes, conduits and cables located under the intersections of Washington and State, and Randolph and Dearborn, Chase said.

CTA paid ComEd $3.2 million for that work, but ComEd came back with a final invoice for another $1.977 million after all work was completed, Chase said.

Six years later, “After a review of ComEd’s request, ComEd and the CTA agreed that $1,059,309 was the appropriate amount for the work ComEd had done specifically related to the project,’’ Chase said.

The CTA’s attorney recommended accepting the settlement amount, board members were told Wednesday.

Although the Super Station project is dead at the moment, “the tunnels and station have been preserved to support future potential development,” Chase said.

The $218 million project was funded with $42 million in city tax increment financing funds; $171 million in CTA bond proceeds — with debt service paid by federal funds; $4 million in Federal Transit Administration funds and $1 million in Regional Transportation Authority funds, Chase said.

Contributing: Fran Spielman

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