Chicago Department of Transportation

“Loop Link” Bus Rapid Transit

Chicago, IL

The Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit project in the heart of Chicago’s busy downtown Loop addressed congestion between the West Loop’s major transportation hubs and Michigan Avenue by dedicating bus-only lanes. The Chicago Department of Transportation enlisted Benesch as the Consultant Construction Engineer (CCE) on this $32 million endeavor. The project called for eight new Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus platforms; pavement placement on two main Loop thoroughfares; installation of protected bicycle lanes; assistance in managing roadway use permits; and resurfacing of all impacted streets. Key challenges were complex traffic maintenance and extensive coordination with stakeholders such as building managers and tenants, storefront shops, special event planners and teams from the Washington-Wabash and Union Station Transportation Center projects. The goal was to minimize or eliminate any negative impacts to motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and CTA bus and/or train passengers. Because of the many stakeholders involved, Benesch also created and distributed a weekly project email blast to more than 485 unique email addresses. These emails provided project information and updates on construction in the Loop. Ultimately, the successful installation of bus-only lanes not only relieved congestion as needed, but CTA buses are now able travel faster and better maintain their route schedules.

Project highlights

  • Add eight, new bus-only platforms
  • Install protected bicycle lanes
  • Resurface streets
  • Stakeholder coordination
  • Weekly email blast updates to 485+ stakeholders