Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson, CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez and 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis, along with community representatives today gathered to celebrate the completion of renovations on the north entrance at the CTA Red Line Cermak-Chinatown station. In addition, Mayor Daley thanks the residents of the 25th Ward for their help in moving the City forward. f "I'm here today to thank every resident, every business and every not-for-profit for their advice, support and cooperation. Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time," Daley said at another stop on the "Neighborhood Appreciation Tour" her is making before he leaves office in May.
The rehabbed entrance, located at 138W. Cermak Road, once again will serve as the main stationhouse. Last June, CTA opened a new auxiliary entrance two blocks north of Cermak that allowed the station to remain open while renovations were under way. The Archer entrance will remain in use as a secondary entrance/exit to the station.
"I am pleased with CTA's commitment and efforts in making public transit more accessible and attractive to Chicago residents over the years," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "The renovation of Cermak is just one of many investments in CTA's system that improves reliability and provides quality service to the millions of people who depend upon public transportation in their daily lives."
In addition to installing a new elevator and replacing the stairs and escalator, CTA built a new stationhouse at street level on Cermak and installed planters and posts that add to the ambience outside the station. Other amenities include enhanced lighting, new customer assistance and information kiosks and bike racks.
The main entrance opened to customers on Friday, April 15. #21 Cermak buses, which had been rerouted during construction, have returned to their regular routes along Cermak to King Drive. Bus stop locations which were changed to better serve customers and provide access to the Archer entrance returned to their normal locations also.
Total cost of the project was $12.5 million using American Reinvestment Recovery Act (ARRA)—also known as stimulus—funds. CTA received a total $241 million in stimulus funds. Projects funded through ARRA funds include the track renewal project in the Blue Line's Dearborn Subway and the purchase of 58 hybrid articulated buses.
In 2010, the average ridership at the Cermak station was 3,561 on weekdays; 3,738 on Saturdays and 2,942 on Sundays, making it the seventh busiest station on the Dan Ryan Red Line branch and 24th busiest on the Red Line.
The Mayor highlighted some of the major accomplishments that the City and the residents of the Chinatown, Little Village, Pilsen, Little Italy and the UIC - Medical District communities have worked together to move the city forward:
- The City has made a number of improvements to parks and open space throughout the community, including:
- New playgrounds at Harrison, Baraga, Barrett, Garibaldi, Throop and Dvorak Parks.
- The construction of a new cultural center at Harrison Park.
- And the acquisition of 15 acres of parkland, offering new recreational opportunities for the community.
- The Chicago Public Schools have made major investments in the schools of this community, including:
- The construction of two new schools – John C. Haines and Finkl Schools.
- Renovations have been made to five more schools - Benito Juarez Community Academy, Galileo Scholastic Academy, Walsh School, Pickard School and Ward School.
- And, through the enhancement of Walsh School Campus Park and the new play lots at four local schools, the City has added more green space.
- Partnerships between After School Matters and local schools such as Juarez Community High School and Orozco Academy provide youth with creative educational experiences to supplement their academic learning.
- The Arturo Velásquez Institute, which is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, opened in 1996 and was recently renovated, offers ESL, GED, and adult basic education services to the Pilsen and Back of the Yards communities.
- The Department of Family and Support Services administered $1.9 million in grant funds to build the Rauner YMCA, which is a multi-use facility with child care and after school programs for children in need.
- The City has invested in the employment training and placement of Chicago's job force– from the Pilsen Workforce Center to the Manufacturing Works Center.
- Improvements to three local branches of the Chicago Public Library to better meet the diverse needs of the community:
- The Chinatown Branch, which serves as a cultural and information center about the Chinatown community and Chinese culture.
- The Rudy Lozano Branch Library, which offers an extensive collection of Mexican Heritage and Spanish Language materials.
- And the renovation of the Theodore Roosevelt Branch Library, which serves the residents of the West Loop, Little Italy and the Medical District. In addition to serving the UIC population, the branch includes very popular children's programs and a large collection of Chinese Language materials.
- The support of arts and culture throughout the community, including:
- The administration of nearly $85,000 in grants to artists and organizations in the 25th Ward.
- Neighborhood festivals and events such as block parties and various events through the annual Chicago Artists Month celebration.
- The installation of two projects through the Public Art Program.
- The installation of more than 12 miles of new water main and the lining of existing infrastructure by the Department of Water Management.
- The Chicago Department of Transportation has invested over $12 million on the Canal Street Viaduct Project, which runs from 14th Street to 18th Street.
- More than in $48 million TIF-generated public infrastructure and business-related improvements has been dedicated to streetscape and signal projects throughout the community.
- The City has invested over $145 million in local redevelopment projects to provide:
- Enhancements to retail projects like Chinatown Square and Ryan Center Shopping Plaza.
- Helped to retain large employers in the ward such as Chicago International Produce Market and Steiner American Linen.
- The City's partnership with The Resurrection Project, a local organization, has helped to create 116 single-family and two-flat homes and 232 units of affordable, multi-generational rental housing in the area.
- Under the Chicago Housing Authority's Plan for Transformation, the City has built Archer Courts II to provide mixed-income rental units, and rehabilitated Apartamentos Las Americas to provide quality, affordable housing for seniors in the community.
- The City added 6.7 miles of total on-street bikeways throughout out the community.
- The construction of the Vernon Park Fountain project under the Neighborhoods Alive Program to restore and expand Chicago's public fountains.
- The City's investment inpublic safety infrastructure and programs throughout the community, such as the new 12th district station, which will open in the spring of 2012.
- The Chicago Fire Department continues to educate Chicago's residents about fire safety. The Department also offers free smoke detectors and installation of the detectors in homes is available in every community.
- The support of many delegate agencies such as the Resurrection Project that provide housing, rental and social services to residents.
"Working together we've brought Chicago into the 21st century, and given it a bright future. It's been a joy and an honor to be your Mayor," Daley said.
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