The Chicago Transit Authority’s Racine Blue Line station will soon undergo a significant restoration that will include the installation of an elevator and other accessibility-related upgrades, making it the latest project to receive upgrades under the CTA's All Stations Accessibility Program.
Following a competitive procurement process, the Chicago Transit Board approved a contract with FH Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates, LLC for as much as $75.4 million. The Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, under the direction of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, provided funding for the infrastructure project, a release said.
CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said the planned accessibility improvements at the Blue Line station represent an important step toward making the entire CTA system fully accessible.
“The CTA has collaborated with Chicago’s disability community to pursue a vision of 100% accessibility for all customers,” Carter, Jr. said. “Thanks to the funding we received through the Rebuild Illinois capital program, we’re now able to ‘unlock’ one more station and soon provide a fully-accessible transit option for not only this West Side community, but for any of the millions who travel our rail system each year.”
The main stationhouse at 430 S. Racine Avenue, which was built in 1958, will be completely rebuilt. Crews will add a new elevator, along with improvements to the Loomis Street auxiliary entrance and exit, a new ADA-accessible ramp from the stationhouse to the platform, new stairs, and an extension of the platform, a release said.
The contractor will also make significant upgrades to the traction power system to help increase service dependability and aid plans to add extra trains to the Blue Line. Planned work will also entail adding a new power substation at Morgan Street, the replacement of equipment at the existing Hermitage substation and other electrical work, CTA said.
Following the renovation, the train platforms and other significant modal transition sites will all have clearly marked accessible walkways. To remove obstacles, every component along the pathway—including fare arrays, shelters, benches, and passenger information points—will be completely renovated, a release said.
The project’s start and end dates, along with other specifics, will be disclosed at a later date, according to the CTA.
The CTA published the ASAP Strategic Plan in 2018, which serves as a roadmap for completing full accessibility at all of its rail stations by 2038. Of the CTA’s 145 rail stations, 103 or 70% of them are currently ADA accessible, a release said. As of Feb. 10, nine CTA stations have related funding and are either being designed or built. The ASAP Strategic Plan is revised every five years, the agency said.