The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced that its board approved an amendment to its Capital Improvement Plan for FY2016–FY2020 to include $75 million in funds for the transit authority’s Red Line Extension (RLE) project.
The plan will extend the Red Line’s service to 130th Street from 95th Street and will add four new stations on the city’s Far South Side.
Representatives say the amended funding will enable the CTA to continue progress on preliminary engineering and analysis work needed to finalize the project alignment and complete a final environmental impact statement. The engineering work is mandatory in order for the CTA to apply for more than $1 billion in federal funding the transit authority is pursuing to back the $2.3 billion project. The amendment will be funded by CTA bonds, officials say.
“The Red Line Extension project is a transformational project to expand transit to Chicago’s southern border and create faster access to jobs, education and opportunity,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This investment will allow CTA to move forward with preliminary engineering and planning work necessary to seek federal funding to make this vision a reality for Chicago’s Far South Side.”
The 5.3-mile rail extension would include four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue and 130th Street. Each of the new stations are expected to provide bus and parking facilities.
The transit authority says it intends for the procurement for further environmental planning and engineering work to take place in 2017.
The CTA has also completed renovations to five O’Hare branch Blue Line stations as part of the transit authority’s $492 million Your New Blue modernization plan.
Representatives say $43 million in station modernization work has been completed as part of the second phase of the Your New Blue program, which entailed the rehabilitation of the Addison, Irving Park, Montrose, Harlem and Cumberland stations. The station upgrades included the installation of an elevator at the Addison station to improve customer accessibility, as well.
“Today is an important milestone in our efforts to modernize transit infrastructure in Chicago, and we will continue making these much needed investments across the city to ensure we are providing the safest, most reliable service for commuters,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “There are now new tracks, signals and power between the Loop and the northwest side—all of which will make the ride smooth, safe and speedy.”
Additional Blue Line improvements include:
- Addison Station: New elevator; extended stationhouse and new enclosed stairway; improvements to the platform and platform canopies for better weather protection; refurbished platform furniture, new lighting; and painting of station and platform.
- Irving Park and Montrose stations: Improvements to platform and platform canopies; renovated platform furniture; replaced walkway railings; new lighting and repainted stationhouses and platforms.
- Harlem Station: Improvements to platform, platform canopies floors and walkways; repairs to stationhouse curtain walls; rehabilitation of platform furniture; and new lighting and painting.
- Cumberland Station: Improvements to platform, platform canopies and walkways; replacement of stationhouse curtain walls and other improvements, including new lighting and painting at the stationhouses, platforms, and walkways; and upgrades to stationhouse and platforms, new lighting and painting.
More information on the RLE project and the Draft EIS is available here.