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November 20, 2013

Chicago Transit offers first look at new Red Line terminal

A rendering of the new 95th Street station.

A rendering of the new 95th Street station.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the design renderings for the new 95th Street Red Line station, a project to modernize transit and promote economic opportunity on Chicago’s South Side.

The $240 million reconstruction project, slated to begin in spring 2014, will create not only a brand-new, reconfigured station to serve the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) busiest rail line, but also a facility that will serve as a community focal point and an anchor for economic opportunity on Chicago’s South Side.

The terminal project, expected to generate about 700 construction jobs, follows the on-time, on-budget reconstruction of the Red Line South between downtown and 95th Street. The Red Line South reopened in October and has resulted in smoother, faster and more reliable rides for customers.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a significant investment in both the South Side and the Red Line and its riders," said Mayor Emanuel. "The Red Line is the backbone of our transportation network and this new station will drive economic activity throughout the city for years to come."

The new station design features contemporary architecture including glass and steel canopies and light-filled, glass-enclosed structures with expanded space for customers. The station will have buildings both north and south of 95th Street, connected by an enclosed walkway over 95th Street, and will include three times the amount of retail concession space as the current station.

The project will also incorporate artworks from internationally recognized, Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, and involve a program incorporating job creation, skills training and significant community engagement by the artist. Gates is holding a series of community meetings through December to engage and promote dialogue among community residents, architects, and designers about what kinds of artwork and community involvement might be possible for the project.

The new station will create a better, safer and more accessible pedestrian environment, with wider sidewalks and larger waiting areas for increased passenger comfort. Wider bus lanes and increased spacing between bus bays will reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.

The 95th Street project is part of more than $4 billion in transit investment being made by Mayor Emanuel. Though the construction schedule has not been finalized, the 95th Station is expected to remain open throughout the construction project.

Funding is provided through a variety of federal, state and local sources, including a Federal TIGER grant, TIFIA loan, Federal Bus Livability grant, Federal Formula funds, State of Illinois Jobs Now funds and CTA funds.

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