The CTA will use TIF funding in a $23 million project to renovate the Blue Line’s Illinois Medical District CTA station.
The project will make all three entrances accessible to riders with disabilities. The tax-increment financing (TIF) funds will help rebuild the main stationhouse on Ogden Avenue, by adding an elevator and new stairs. The project also includes the reconstruction of two station-to-platform ramps at auxiliary entrances at Damen Avenue and Paulina Street to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
Constructed in 1958, the station is the closest CTA rail stop for the nation’s largest urban medical district, the Illinois Medical District (IMD), which is home to four major hospital systems – the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Center and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
The Illinois Medical District has more than 29,000 employees, has more than 2,200 hospital beds and gets about 75,000 visitors each day. It is also the state’s largest biotechnology/medical complex and an incubator for about 30 emerging technology-based companies. The IMD station also serves Malcolm X College and the United Center.
Over the last five years, ridership at the IMD Blue Line station has increased by 53 percent, to nearly 1.1 million station entries last year, making IMD the third-busiest station on the Blue Line’s West Side Forest Park branch.
Additionally, the project includes improving station and platform lighting; installing additional security cameras and CTA Bus and Train Tracker displays, and making repairs to the station platform canopy. The two auxiliary entrances, at Damen and Paulina, will also be refurbished with new flooring, wall/ceiling finishes, fare-payment equipment and customer assistant kiosks.
With the exception of the Damen entrance, which was renovated in 1998, the station has otherwise only received minor patchwork repairs since it first opened 55 years ago.