CHICAGO, IL–(ENEWSPF)–July 25, 2011. The Loyola CTA Station will soon see major improvements, ensuring the safety of passengers and pedestrians, as the result of $11 million in federal funding, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said today. Durbin joined local elected officials, representatives of the CTA and Loyola University, and members of the Rogers Park community at the Loyola CTA Station to announce $18.5 million – including $11 million in federal funds – to begin immediate repairs to the dilapidated Loyola CTA Station and to conduct an environmental study on the extension and modernization of the Red and Purple Lines. The design work for the Loyola CTA station project is already underway and construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2012.
Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured $10 million in federal funding for the project in the fiscal year 2010 Transportation and Housing Appropriations Bill, and $1 million in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU).
“This project is the result of a federal, state, and local public-private partnership which has brought together the Federal Transit Authority, the CTA, Loyola University, and the local community in order to make desperately needed improvements to this station and bring it back to a state of good repair. Thousands of students and commuters use this station every day, and this funding will ensure their safety and make certain that the station is able to continue serving the transportation needs of this community for years to come,” Durbin said.
At the Loyola CTA Station, the federal and local investment will help stabilize existing infrastructure, make strategic upgrades to the existing station, and redirect passenger flow for pedestrian safety. The project will include upgrades to the viaduct and improve lighting and visibility. It will also move the station entrance farther north, and create a plaza in front of the reoriented station entrance, increasing safety for pedestrians by keeping them away from vehicular traffic. Funding through the SAFETEA-LU legislation will be used for land acquisition, and roadway and pedestrian improvements around the station.
More than a third of the CTA’s rail riders use the Red Line, which sees 250,000 rides each weekday. In order to prepare for safety upgrades and modernizations to the Red Line in the future, federal funding will also be used to conduct the environmental analysis necessary to take steps towards replacing, rebuilding and extending the Red and Purple Line corridor from Linden to 130th Street.
“The Red Line is the heart of the CTA rail network. But it is also one of the oldest CTA rail lines and most in need of repair. The Loyola CTA Station’s problems are systematic of problems all across the Red Line, which is why the federal funds announced today are so important. Federal funding for new mass transit projects is highly competitive in Washington. However, we cannot slow down planning for the future. Gas prices are not going down in the long-term and Chicagoans will continue to demand faster and safer public transportation options. This funding will help the CTA move forward with their vision for a newer, more modern Red Line, and put us in the best position to provide world-class mass transit services in the future,” Durbin said.
The Red and Purple Modernization is proposed to bring those lines to a state of good repair from north of Belmont in Chicago to the Linden Station in Wilmette, in order to reduce travel times and spur economic development along the corridor. The Red Line Extension on the South Side is proposed to continue the Red Line from 95th Street Station to 130th Street, greatly increasing rail access to the city’s South Side.