News pickup: State comes through with almost $400 million in CTA funding

Gov. Quinn earlier this month formally signed off on almost $392 million in funding for a variety of CTA rail projects, by putting his signature on the Illinois Jobs Now bill.

The CTA projects include:

  • $200 million for the reconstruction of the Wilson Red Line station. This project will be bid out in 2013 and construction will probably begin in 2014.
  • “Major station rehabs” at Sheridan, Bryn Mawr and Loyola. Read more on the Loyola project. I will write an update on the Loyola project later this week. No details have emerged yet on Sheridan and Bryn Mawr. But we do know that Alderman Harry Osterman asked the CTA to pull Bryn Mawr out of the Red Line north interim improvement project to do something a little bigger.
  • Updated electrical substations.
  • Viaduct work as far north as Central Avenue Street in Evanston.
  • Rehab of portions of the Blue Line.
  • The $86 million Red Line north interim improvement project.
  • Contingency funding for the Red Line south Dan Ryan branch track renewal project.

Great to see Illinois finally committing and spending its capital works funding on CTA projects.


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  • Apparently, this is just a renewal of PA96-35 for the time it was sitting pending the Wirtz litigation. So, CTA was going to get its proportion of the liquor, pop, candy, etc. taxes on a formula basis, just like Pace and Metra did. If CTA were not in such a state of disrepair, the $392 million could have been applied to any other of the $8 billion supposedly always needed to put the CTA into a state of good repair.

    The same bill let Quinn attend the unveiling of the Metra car facility in Rochelle, as though Quinn himself is creating any jobs.

    In fact, CTA and Metra don't have the legislative angel that Pace does. PA 97-770 gives Pace the authority to borrow $100 million to build a new Northwest garage, convert South garage to CNG, build a DuPage paratransit garage, and expand North Shore garage. It says this is to be paid out of revenues other than RTA taxes. I suppose the CNG savings may pay for part of it, but presume that the passengers will have to pay for the rest. However, it seems like Claypool is putting the CTA into hock without explaining how to pay for it, either, but we discussed that before.

    But, in any event, this Quinn announcement is not "magically pulling money out of a hat."

  • Exactly what are they planning to do at Sheridan?
    I'm asking because there's basically nothing that can be done with the platform except some repairs. The station house is from 1906, so that might be replaced.
    But there's no room to add elevators with the station in the middle of the S turn.
    As far as I can tell, they've haven't bought any land north or south of there to straighten out the S turn & build a new single platform between tracks 2 & 3.
    Anything else is a waste of money as they will eventually eliminate the S turn.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Scooter, as I said, I haven't seen details about Sheridan. Your continued concern about the S turn is duly noted. I imagine it wasn't included in the Red North interim improvement projects because the CTA also is afraid "anything else is a waste of money."

    The S turn removal/fix may have to wait till they do a full-blown Red Line renovation.

    However, why couldn't a new concrete platform be installed? And the station house repairs are long overdue.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    From what I saw in the proposals, they want to move that area of the L to the old Milwaukee Road right-of-way, where that narrow Challenger Park is now.
    Since none of the proposals is going to happen other than the basic rebuilding one, who knows what's up.

    Considering that the CTA staff made a mess out of the extension to Old Orchard, I have little doubt that anything will ever happen!

  • I think you mean Central St in Evanston. Central Avenue is in Wilmette, or Chicago.

  • In reply to JWirtz79:

    Thanks for having my back JWirtz. Of course you are correct, and I changed it.

  • I'm sorry, is the cta actually paying attention to the Blue Line? This is one shocked blue line rider. Any details on what the rehab* is, Kev?

    *I will blow a gasket if the rehab is fixing the slow zones between Logan and Western/ Milwaukee... this stretch magically got worse once the cta announced money to fix it.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    I'll try to find out!

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