“Block 37’s demons persist — they’ve merely been pushed underground,
where the Chicago Transit Authority has built the shell of a train
station without any tracks.”
So reports Chicago Current in “The CTA’s Block 37 Blues.” The story notes that the city and the CTA have no real plans on the table now to finish the $259 million cave. They used the money to build a “shell of train station without any tracks.”
It’s a saga that has left experts baffled and suspicious.
Joseph DiJohn, a professor at the University of Illinois at
Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center, questions whether the project
was ever viable to begin with.
“I think the station was primarily built to support Block 37, as
opposed to really taking a serious look at airport transportation,”
DiJohn says. “Why build a station if you don’t know that you’re going
to have the service?”
Block 37’s rotating cast of developers received $42.4 million in tax
increment financing from the city, and the CTA provided $176 million in
capital improvement funds to build out the structure’s basement.
For its part, the article quotes a CTA spokesman as saying the “city will take the lead in seeking private partners to help run the service ‘when the economy improves.’ “
Chicago Current is the new venture from Geoff Dougherty and his pals, formerly of the Chi-Town Daily News. Great stuff. Check it out.