January 17, 2012

Mayor Emanuel Opens Newly-Renovated Grand Avenue Red Line Station

Announces New Green Line Station at Cermak; Other Stations That Will Undergo Total Rehabilitations

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel today officially re-opened the Grand Avenue Red Line Station, which has undergone a complete rehabilitation over the last several years. Additionally, Mayor Emanuel announced that the City will construct a new Green Line station at Cermak, build a new station at Washington and Wabash, and conduct a complete rehabilitation at the station at Clark and Division.

“Having world-class infrastructure is a key focus for any world-class city,” said Mayor 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 investments in these stations amount to one of the largest in the history of the CTA. These four projects project to create nearly 4,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, according to industry estimates. During the 2012 budget process, Mayor Emanuel focused on infrastructure repair – particularly the rehabilitation of the CTA – as an essential focus of this administration.

"I am very pleased to work with Mayor Emanuel and President Claypool to secure federal funds that have made the upgrade of L stops in Chicago possible,” said U.S. Congressman Danny Davis. “During this time of an economic recovery, Chicago is poised to add nearly 4,000 construction jobs. I am excited about this funding and will continue working with the mayor to ensure Chicago has the best public transit system in the country.”

In addition to the Grand Avenue rehabilitation, the City will create a new Green Line station at Cermak, to serve McCormick Place and the near South Side. The City will also rehabilitate the Clark/Division Red Line Station and will combine two stations to create a Wabash/Washington station on the Brown/Pink/Green/Orange lines.

“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.”

"Chicago is one of our nation's most livable cities, and quality public transit options play an important role keeping visitors coming back and residents on time," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. "The newly renovated Grand and State Red Line station is a model for successfully revitalizing well-travelled public transit stops to better meet Chicagoans' needs. Today's announcements of additional CTA modernizations will follow that example, creating thousands of jobs while transforming some of our city's oldest stations into state-of-the-art transportation centers that provide safer, more accessible, and more efficient commuter service throughout the city."

U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley added: “This is more than an investment in transit infrastructure, it is an investment in the economic future of Chicago. These long-term investments will have a ripple effect throughout the entire regional economy. Not only will they create green jobs, but they will ease congestion, attract people and businesses, and encourage additional development.”

“These projects are great news for CTA riders and they demonstrate how federal efforts are helping the city to improve the lives of local residents,” U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski said. “What we need to do now is keep up the effort to pass a robust federal transportation reauthorization to make sure we can continue to repair and improve our public transit, as well as our roads, bridges, and railways. As northeastern Illinois’ leading transportation advocate in Washington, I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Emanuel, CTA President Claypool, and all the region’s leaders to improve our local transportation systems.”

The specific projects are:

Grand Avenue

The $73.6 million rehabilitation of the CTA’s Grand Avenue Red Line stop was recently completed after three years of construction. The station was built in the early 1940s and has never been renovated. 

The renovation project included: 

  • Expansion of the public area of the mezzanine and fare array by 2,100 square feet (40%), which improves circulation for entering/exiting capacity (from 8 to 12 turnstiles). Two additional temporary fare machines can be added during special events to further increase entrance capacity.
  • Replacement of the 1940’s escalators and truss.  Installation of modern, faster and more reliable escalators.  Two new escalators from platform to mezzanine and one new escalator from mezzanine to street level.
  • New elevators making this station ADA accessible.
  • Additional stairs from mezzanine to platform level to increase circulation.
  • New security and monitoring system.
  • New electronic signage that can deliver up to the minute information to riders.
  • New electrical and communications systems, including installation of an electrical backup system for evacuation.
  • Higher lighting levels at mezzanine and platform for security.
  • New acoustical panels to reduce station noise. 

According to the 2020 forecast developed for the Chicago Central Area Plan, the area served by the Grand/State station is expected to grow by an additional 5,000 residential units, 4,000 hotel rooms, and more than 3 million square feet of office space.  This growth is expected to increase the entering volume at Grand/State station by at least 50%.   By 2020, the average daily ridership at this station is expected to be 16,000, with a peak hour weekday volume of at least 4,000.  


This $86.6 million subway renovation project includes the construction of a brand new 6,300 square-foot mezzanine for the Clark/Division Red Line subway station.   It will be the first new mezzanine to be constructed since the Red Line subway was originally built in the 1940s.  In addition to the new mezzanine at LaSalle, the original Clark mezzanine and platform will also be completely renovated and brought up to current CTA standards.

The project highlights include: energy efficient lighting; new fare collection equipment; granite floors; state-of-the-art communication and security equipment; new signage; new enclosed stairs and escalators; and new wall and ceiling architectural finishes.  The renovation of this station will upgrade the deteriorated an out-of-date facility and enhance the station’s appearance and operation.

Construction of the new mezzanine and platform at LaSalle Street will begin in March and will be completed in 24 months.  Than the 12-month renovation of the existing platform and mezzanine at Clark Street will begin, with the entire project completed by March 2015.

Cermak Green Line Station

This $50 million TIF-supported project consists of the design and construction of a new elevated CTA station at Cermak on the Green Line.   The station, located in the two mile-stretch between the existing Roosevelt and 35th/Bronzeville stations will provide much needed access to rapid transit for neighborhood residents and businesses.    The new station will be ADA-accessible and have station house facilities located at grade level. The platform will be a center-island configuration for an eight-car train with canopy coverage for six cars.   The station will also include an auxiliary exit to the north side of 23rd Street.

The design work will begin in March with construction set to begin by February 2013.   The 18-month construction project is expected to be complete by July 2014.

This station, which will allow another access point to McCormick Place, is expected to provide a significant boost to the convention industry and help facilitate conventioneers getting downtown quickly and affordably.

Washington/Wabash Loop Elevated Station

The planned $75 million Washington/Wabash elevated station will replace two separate century-old stations on Wabash at Randolph and Madison.   The new station will be located along Wabash Avenue south of Washington Street.

The fare controls, stairs, escalators, elevators, electrical, security and communications rooms will be on the mezzanine level.    The station will be entirely new and will meet ADA standards with new elevators from the street to mezzanine and platform levels.   The platform capacity will be enlarged from the existing 7’-6” width to 10’ to 13’ widths. 

Final design work will begin in May, with construction scheduled to begin in April 2013.  The project is expected to be complete by September 2014.

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