Chicago's $218 Million Unfinished Basement

Greg Hinz tours the unfinished 'superstation' under Block 37 in the central Loop, built by the Chicago Transit Authority at a cost of $218 million. It would cost an estimated $150 million to complete, a sum that's unlikely to be raised anytime soon.
June 17, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"After a full year of asking, photographer Stephen Serio and I a few days ago finally got a chance to tour the hitherto unseen 'superstation' under Block 37 in the central Loop — a grand space that is an equally grand testimony to the hubris of the latter years of former Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration," says Hinz. The station was conceived as a hub for express train service to Chicago's airports and as "a track link between the Blue and Red lines — the CTA's busiest — which otherwise do not converge." However, funding for the express train service never materialized. 

"We the taxpayers spent well over $200 million on what amounts to one of the world's biggest unfinished basements. And it will only take another $150 million or so to be able to use it," notes Hinz. "That won't happen anytime soon."

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Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Crain's Chicago Business
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