CTA and the Federal Transit Administration have initiated the federal environmental process pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and are preparing an EIS for the project. The EIS will evaluate at least three alternatives: a No Build Alternative, a Transportation System Management Alternative and the Locally Preferred Alternative adopted by the Chicago Transit Board that extends the Red Line to the vicinity of 130th Street.
The proposed Orange Line would be from Midway Airport to Cicero Avenue near 76th Street.
The Locally Preferred Alternative adopted by the Chicago Transit Board would extend the Yellow Line to Old Orchard Road.
The EIS will build upon the Alternatives Analysis process that led to the adoption of a Locally Preferred Alternative.
The Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program requires transit project proposals to proceed through a process of planning, design and construction. The FTA process consists of five formal steps: Alternatives Analysis (AA), Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction.
In another story, rail service between the CTA Blue Line's Clark/Lake and UIC-Halsted stations will be temporarily suspended from 10 p.m. Friday, September 18 until 4 a.m. Monday, September 21, as work to replace track in the south end of the Dearborn subway continues. Bus shuttles will operate as a substitute for rail service.
Crews are replacing deteriorated wooden half ties with concrete half ties, running rail and contact (third) rail to remove emerging slow zones and help prevent the creation of new slow zones.