Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and local officials broke ground on Aug. 29 on the new Cermak Green Line station, a $50 million construction project that will energize the area around McCormick Place and provide a crucial additional transportation option for the Near South Side.
The $50 million station is part of $92 million in overall transportation investments, including the rehabilitation of the Roosevelt and Harrison stations on the Red Line and the 18th Street Connector, which will significantly revitalize the near south side of the city.
“We are making a comprehensive investment in the CTA, and this investment includes building a new station to serve McCormick Place and the surrounding area,” said Emanuel. “We are improving our infrastructure to brighten our economic future. You cannot have a 21st century economy sitting on a 20th century economic infrastructure.”
The 18th Street Connector, which carries Orange Lines trains to and from the Loop, is undergoing $25 million in renovations, and the Harrison street station ($10 million), and on Roosevelt Road ($7 million) are also being improved, to bring to a total of $92 million in new investment to the area. Billions of dollars are currently being put toward transit improvements throughout the city of Chicago, which will reshape the infrastructure of the city for decades to come.
“The new Cermak-McCormick Place station will offer a convenient transit option for commuters, residents, employees and visitors, and at the same time help support economic development well under way in the community,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.
Since taking office, Emanuel has worked extensively to help McCormick Place achieve its status as the premiere destination for conventions and meetings in the United States. Since enacting crucial work rules reforms, McCormick Place has been able to secure more than $6 billion in new, recommitted, or extended shows. Additionally, earlier this year Mayor Emanuel announced that, through Elevate Chicago, McCormick Place and Navy Pier will undergo $1.1 billion in transformational development projects.
“I am delighted to join with thousands of my constituents in welcoming the construction of this new dramatic looking, $50 million Cermak Green Line stop `L’ station just a stone’s throw from McCormick Place,” U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL). “This is another significant step toward making Chicago a greener, more efficient and more vibrant city via a modern public transit system. We are eagerly looking forward to the on-time opening of this critical piece of our city’s rail system.”
The future Green Line station at Cermak will be the first station at that location since 1977. This new station fills in a major gap in CTA service that has existed at McCormick Place since the station was demolished. It is part of $4 billion in investments ongoing in the CTA system alone.
The Cermak station will be the 146th CTA station. The construction project is being managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The station will be located near the intersection of Cermak Avenue and State Street and directly west of the McCormick Place convention center. The new station will be located in the two-mile stretch between the existing Roosevelt and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line stations and will provide much needed access to rapid transit for neighborhood residents and businesses, including McCormick Place.
The Cermak-McCormick station, which is financed with $50 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds, will include three entrance points – one on each side of Cermak Road and one at 23rd Street. The main station building will be built on on the north side of Cermak road, equipped with modern amenities such as elevators, bike racks, state-of-the-art security, and enclosed boarding platforms.
Additional CTA station projects 2013-2014 on the city’s Near South Side:
Harrison Red Line station, 608 S. State
· Total cost: $10 million (all from TIF money)
· CTA has completed significant cosmetic improvements, such as improved tunnel lighting and painting,
· Deeper structural work– waterproofing, new flooring, stair and column repairs, repairing all three entrances will be done in 2014
· Station had 1.4 million entries in 2012
18th Street Connector, 18th Street between Clark and Holden
· The connector is in use by the Orange Line Branch and requires significant repairs
· Project includes structural improvements, waterproofing, track renewal, painting, and upgrading power and signal equipment
· Work began August 2013
· Total cost: $25M ($11.5 million is TIF)
· Work will be completed by the end of 2014Orange Line provided 8.8 million rides in 2012
Roosevelt Road Streetscape and Intermodal Improvements, between State Street and Columbus Drive. Total Cost: $7 million (All from TIF)
· Chicago Neighborhoods Now Project
· Wider sidewalks and improved pedestrian facilities at the CTA intermodal facility
· A raised two-way bicycle path along the north side of Roosevelt between Wabash and Indiana, improving connections to the park and museum campus
· New pedestrian lighting between State and Indiana
· Pedestrian safety improvements including new crosswalks, improved existing crosswalks, and pedestrian refuge islands
· Streetscape enhancements including decorative pavers, community identifiers, street trees, seating and bike parking
Work will be completed by the end of 2014.