Chicago Red Line modernisation project receives federal funds

10 Jan 2017

USA: The Chicago Transit Authority and the Federal Transit Administration have signed a $1bn Full Funding Grant Agreement towards the $2·1bn first phase of the modernisation of the Red and Purple metro lines. The agreement announced on January 9 adds to the $191m in federal funding for this project that has already been received.

The first phase would see the rebuilding of Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations, in addition to track renewals and grade separating a junction with the Brown Line. Design and engineering work is expected to begin this year, with construction envisaged to start in late 2018 and last four to five years.

In November the Chicago city council approved the creation of a dedicated tax-increment financing district that is expected to generate a further $622m to support the project.

The Red Line is busiest of the eight metro lines in Chicago, carrying more than 30% of the network’s passengers. Ridership currently stands at 75 million passengers a year, and peak-hour ridership has increased by 40% since 2008, according to CTA.

The modernisation is part of the Red Ahead project, which also includes an 8·5 km extension of the line south to 130th Street with four stations. In November the CTA announced $75m in funding for the $2·3bn extension project.

Other works include the rebuild of 95th Street station, worth $280m, and Wilson station, worth $203m. In 2013 a $425m project was completed to refurbish stations and track on the southern section of the Red Line.

  • The CTA has launched the Garfield Gateway project to improve Garfield station on the Green Line. Work is due to begin in 2018 and is estimated to cost $50m.
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