U.S. Plastic Lumber Contract With Chicago Transit Authority

03 May 2002

U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp has signed a contract with Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Douglas Blue Line Reconstruction Project.

As a part of this $300 million dollar bid, USPL will be responsible for supplying several thousand recycled Composite railroad ties, trademarked Duratie(R), to Kiewit-Delgago and their designated sub-contractors. The CTA has been a long time proponent of composite cross-ties and designated several thousand be applied to the Blue Line Project in both ballasted and elevated track work.

Michael McCann, chief operating officer of USPL, said, ""This project marks an exciting collaboration between the CTA and USPL. We've been able to meet CTA's expectations of offering a viable replacement to traditional railroad ties, such as wood, steel or concrete. Our Composite railroad ties have great benefits, including a life expectancy of two to three times longer than wood. ""

USPL's DuraTie Composite railroad ties are made of recycled plastic and fiberglass for durability and strength. Benefits include a greater life expectancy over wood ties; no hazardous materials used or needed to have or maintain insect and rot resistance; no hazardous materials generated; and, no seepage of hazardous materials. McCann added, ""This is a great benefit for the environmentally conscious CTA."" Richard Lampo, researcher for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center has been working with composite railroad ties for over 8 years. Currently, he is leading the effort within the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association to develop specifications for plastic composite railroad ties.

Lampo said, ""I see composite railroad ties, like those made by USPL, as a viable alternative to wood ties which are replaced in the United States at a rate of some 10-15 million ties annually. The use of recycled plastic railroad ties in just a small portion of annual tie replacements would divert and make beneficial use of large amounts of waste plastics otherwise destined for landfills. Because they are nonconductive and do not absorb water, like wooden ties, composite ties help eliminate the effects of stray-current corrosion of track hardware in electrified mass transit systems. Such corrosion can lead to unexpected track failure which may cause injury and/or loss of service.""

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