Mayor Emanuel Announces Improvements, Expansion to ‘L’ LineCTA will construct one new Green Line station at Cermak and another multi-line station at Washington and Wabash. In addition, a complete rehabilitation is planned for the Clark and Division Red Line station.
“Having world-class infrastructure is a key focus for any world-class city,” said Emanuel. “These targeted and strategic investments in our infrastructure will allow Chicagoans and visitors to get around the city more easily, to jobs, businesses, and neighborhoods.”
The new $50 million, TIF-supported Green Line station at Cermak, located in the nearly three mile-stretch between the existing Roosevelt and 35th Street stations will provide much needed access to rapid transit for neighborhood residents and businesses. It will also provide another access point to McCormick Place in an attempt to revitalize Chicago’s recently wobbly convention industry.
The new ADA-accessible station we be able to accommodate eight-car trains and will feature grade-level ticket purchasing and other station functions. Construction is set to begin next February and conclude by July 2014.
Another new station, to be located in the Loop, isn’t designed to increase access like the Cermak Green Line stop but to replace two aging stations. The new elevated station at Washington and Wabash will supplant the two century-old stations at Randolph and Madison.
Like other Loop stops, the $75 million, ADA-compliant station will have fare controls, security and communications rooms on the mezzanine level, with access by stair, escalator or elevator. The platforms will also be widened from the existing 7′-6″ width to 10′ to 13″. Construction should run from April 2013 to September 2014.
The Red Line subway stop at Clark and Division is now slated for a complete renovation, much like the Grand Avenue station where Emanuel made his statements. A new 6,300 square-foot mezzanine will be the first new mezzanine to be constructed since the Red Line subway was originally built in the 1940s.
Project highlights include energy efficient lighting, new fare collection equipment, new wall and ceiling architectural finishes, granite floors, upgraded communication and security equipment and new enclosed stairs and escalators. The $86 million, two-year renovation of this station will upgrade the deteriorated and out-of-date facility and enhance the station’s appearance and operation.
After three years of construction, the recently renovated Grand Avenue Red Line stop features many upgrades that the announced new and refurbished stations should expect to see. The public area of the mezzanine and fare array were expanded 40% to improve circulation and increase capacity. Space was also allotted for temporary fare machines during special events.
The 70-year-old escalators were replaced with faster, more reliable ones and new elevators brought the station into ADA compliance. The station also features electronic signage that can deliver up to the minute information to riders. Security and safety measures include higher lighting levels on the mezzanine and platform and a new electrical backup system in case of evacuation.
“These are crucial investments that will pay dividends for many years,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Our public transit requires upgrades so we can compete on a global scale, and these are key investments that we can make quickly and effectively.” According to forecasts developed under the Chicago Central Area Plan, the entering volume of the Grand Avenue Red Line station alone is expected to by at least 50% by 2020.