Green Line CTA station opens at Cermak; Blue Line rehab gets more dough

A new station opened Sunday near McCormick Place on the Green Line, and the CTA's Your New Blue rehab project got $120 million in federal funds on Friday.

Yes, it was a busy weekend for CTA watchers. The Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station, which has been under construction for almost two years, fills what was a 2.5-mile gap of no stations on the Green Line from Roosevelt Road to 35th Street.

Officials hope visitors to McCormick Place will use the new station, which will get its first test the coming weekend when the Chicago Auto Show opens. The station also is near the site for the new DePaul University basketball and all-purpose arena. The station is wheelchair accessible on both sides of Cermak at State Street.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Blue Line rehab will keep going with $120 million in federal funds announced on Friday. The project will modernize stations and repair tracks at a total cost of $492 million.

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    Saw that. Will have to find an excuse to ride down there and check out the new station. That area needs a ton of development and infill.

  • If one reads the Press Release, the money is TIFIA, i.e., as it says " TIFIA provides credit assistance for qualified infrastructure projects." I.e., just like the 95th St. bus terminal project, more loans, not federal money. Also strange that Durbin, who takes credit for most things, doesn't even have a first name in the Press Release. Not surprising, there are references to " Mayor Emanuel’s unprecedented investment in the CTA since May 2011. In the last three-and-a-half years, the Mayor has invested $5 billion in transit projects..." If the mayor has done more than put a few dollars into his Ventra transit account, I would be surprised.

    Finally, like the similar $500 million investment in the Brown Line, let's see how long Emanuel's like investment in the Blue Line lasts.

  • In reply to jack:

    While I agree with you that Emmanuel (and politicians in general) take credit for things they had no involvement, I think Emmanuel has done a good job of putting some focus on improving the CTA. Whether that has been him making it a focus in speeches, using TIF money to pay for new stops, or simply being a passenger (something Da Mare never did). He's not perfect and it would be nice if he could do more, but I wouldn't say he's done nothing.

  • In reply to chris:

    On the transit front, the stories about his motorcade being caught by red light cameras indicate that he isn't riding CTA. Maybe there is "some focus," but he certainly has not made good on his promise to get the 130th extension going.

    Let's also remember, CTA is not a unit of CDOT, although Emanuel acts otherwise.

  • In reply to chris:

    That was also picked up in this Tribune article: "... Emanuel says his 2013 shutdown of the Red Line's south branch to completely rebuild the "L" line in just four months helped give Method and Whole Foods the confidence to invest. He doesn't mention that the rail project, which improved service and shortened commute times, was paid for primarily with state money." Also, notwithstanding that the proposed Whole Foods is on the Green Line, and I don't think anyone is going to ride it from Oak Park to Englewood to shop at Whole Foods; there is one in River Forest.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I read that too. But someone had to make the decision to do the rehab in five months. And someone had to lobby for the money.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I agree, as the CTA originally wanted to do it over 4 years. I ride the Ryan regularly & it's a pleasure now without miles of slow zones & finally using granite ballast instead of that water soluble limestone, which was a major reason for the track bed degrading.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Just curious, but what type of stone do they use in other parts of the CTA? Granite ballast or limestone?

  • In reply to chris:

    It's been limestone forever, everywhere on CTA & it's predeccessors, but they finally got smart on the Dan Ryan rehab & went with what all the Class 1 railroads use, granite, although they bought white granite from North Carolina instead of pink Wisconsin granite that the C&NW & Milwaukee Road used for decades.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Any performance difference between the pink vs white? Or do you just note that difference since Wisconsin is closer and would be the more obvious source for granite?

  • In reply to chris:

    As far as I know, just the color is different & my guess is the CTA wanted all the ballast to look alike.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Nobody had to lobby for the money. It was part of the formula in "Governor Quinn's Build Illinois Bond Issue." Explicit formula grants were made to CTA, Metra, Pace, and Paratransit. The only lobbying failure is that Paratransit has not yet received its $40 million appropriation. Do we credit Emanuel for getting Pace its $45 million South Campus or promised 91 CNG buses? Or even out of office Quinn?

    As for the rehab in 5 months, I only give credit that somebody prevented rioting on the south side in response to the 5 month shutdown. But if you think Emanuel did the engineering to make the 5 month shutdown possible............

    And if Emanuel wants to make sure that more of that state money is available, he ought to either allow video gambling in Chicago, since it is a source of that state money, or encourage Chicagoans to ride Pace to the suburbs where that gambling is available (i.e. Daily Herald story). Several of these places are in Oak Lawn and Morton Grove.

  • I don't know how the wrong link to the Daily Herald occurred. Try again.

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