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Red Line Extension to Chicago's Far South Side Making Steady Progress

A transit extension envisioned since the 1950s is this year making steady, tangible progress in the Windy City.
November 15, 2020, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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CTA Red Line

The Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Red Line extension to the Far South Side of Chicago is steadily moving toward reality.

An article by Nick Blumberg updates the status of the project, which is expected to enter a key development phase soon.

"In 2018, the CTA released its preferred plan for the location of the tracks and stations," writes Blumberg. "The extension would run largely alongside an existing Union Pacific rail line, with stations at 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue at 115th Street and 130th Street, better connecting the communities along the 5.6-mile stretch to the CTA’s network."

The CTA is underway with the project development phase, which is scheduled to take two years. "At the end of those two years, the CTA will have to have to finish 30% of the design and have identified about 30% of the funding that isn’t coming from the federal government," according to Blumberg. If the CTA keeps the work on schedule, the agency will be eligible to seek funding for the project from the federal government.

Already this year, the CTA "awarded a $38 million contract for preliminary engineering work and a final report on the extension’s environmental impact, key pieces needed to move the project forward," reports Blumberg.

The article includes a lot of detail about the numerous planning considerations in play with the new extension, like spurring transit oriented development, preventing displacement of existing communities, and maximizing the potential of the line to benefit the residents of the Far South Side, who have seen decades of disinvestment while dealing with some of the longest travel times in the city.

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Published on Monday, November 9, 2020 in WTTW
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