June 30, 2014

Mayor Emanuel And Senator Durbin Unveil New Mezzanine At Clark-Division CTA Station Opening

First Major Renovation of Clark/Division Red Line Station Since 1943 Renovation Work on Historic Section to Continue

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Senator Dick Durbin opened today the newly constructed mezzanine at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Clark/Division Red Line Station, more than two months ahead of schedule, and a major step in the two-stage renovation of the 70-year-old station.

“Having world-class infrastructure is a key focus for any world-class city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This is the first major renovation of the Clark/Division station, and the first new mezzanine built since the Red Line subway opened during World War II. These kinds of investments in our infrastructure are critical to improve the quality of life for Chicagoans and to keep our city competitive in the global economy.”
“Chicago has one of the oldest and largest mass transit systems in the nation,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “I commend Mayor Emanuel for making the rehab of the city’s CTA stations a top priority. The $41 million the federal government invested in the Clark/Division CTA station upgrades will increase safety and soon make the station more accessible to all CTA passengers, including people with disabilities.”

The $50 million construction project is being led by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and supported by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds from the Federal Transit Administration.

For the first stage of the project, CDOT built an entirely new mezzanine at LaSalle Street and Division. The new 8,800-square-foot mezzanine at LaSalle will increase the entering/exiting capacity of the station by adding stairs, fare turnstiles, elevators and escalators.

During the construction of the new mezzanine, which is opening two months earlier than originally scheduled, the station was kept open while a portion of Division Street was partially closed to traffic.

CTA customers will now use the new mezzanine to board and exit the trains while CDOT rebuilds the original 1940’s mezzanine and platform through the middle of 2015. The entrances on Clark Street will close temporarily, but no streets will need to be closed for that part of the project.

“This renovation follows the design elements of previous successful reconstruction projects along the Red Line, which greatly improve the CTA customer experience,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “With this project, this station will continue to serve Chicagoans for many more decades.”

The Clark/Division renovation is one of several CTA capital improvement projects that are key elements of Mayor Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago, a comprehensive $7.3 billion infrastructure renewal program.

“This is another example of the CTA and CDOT working together to modernize and improve the transit experience, and to better serve riders now and in the future,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

Major highlights of the renovation project include:

  • Two new elevators and three new escalators
  • New granite floors and stairs
  • New decorative wall and ceiling tiles
  • Brighter and more energy-efficient lighting 
  • New security equipment and customer-assistance kiosks
  • Improved communication and speaker systems
  • New cast iron street-level entrances 
  • Bike ramps and racks to promote alternate modes of transportation

The Clark/Division station was the 15th busiest CTA rail station in 2013, with more than 2.55 million passengers entering.