Emanuel announces more updates for Chicago's 'L' system

January 17, 2012

Michell Eloy

(Chicago Mayor's Office)
CTA president Forrest Claypool (left) with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the renovated Grand Ave. Red Line station on Tuesday.

Standing in the lobby of the the newly-renovated and reopened Grand Avenue Red Line stop, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Tuesday more planned updates for the city's train system.

The announced plans include building a new Green Line stop near McCormick Place, renovating the Clark and Division Red Line stop, and merging two Loop stations located along Wabash Avenue. The updates are part of more than $200 million in planned renovations that CTA says will take place through 2014 and into 2015.

The addition of a stop near South Side's McCormick Place has been a key piece of Emanuel's plans for the CTA since taking office. The mayor said construction on the new station is scheduled to begin in February 2013 and is estimated to take a year and a half to complete. On Tuesday, Emanuel reitterated past statements that the new McCormick Place stop is desperately needed to facilitate transportation to and from the convention center.

"If you are a convention goer, you have the option of either a taxi or bus," Emanuel told reporters Tuesday. "We're going to offer up now the CTA."

The Chicago Department of Transportation estimates the project will cost about $50 million and plans to fund it through tax increment funding, or TIF money.

CTA said construction on an $86 million renovation of the Clark and Division Red Line stop is scheduled to begin this March. The three-year-long, federally-funded project includes updates to both the LaSalle Street and Clark Street platforms and mezzanines, and the addition of new fair collection equiptment, granite floors and escalators.

Also included in the updates is a new elevated station at Washington Street and Wabash Avenue. The new platform, which is estimated to cost $75 million, will replace two separate stations on Wabash at Randolph and Madison that serve the Pink, Orange, Brown and Green lines. Construction is slated to begin in April 2013 and expected to be completed in September 2014.