Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has secured $1bn in funding from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to support the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernisation Programme (RPM).
The project will see reconstruction of rail stations that are fully accessible, increase capacity and reduce delays.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “This type of investment in transit is an investment in Chicago’s residents and neighbourhoods, connecting them to jobs, education and more.
“This project has been several years in the making, and I want to thank secretary Foxx, administrator Flowers, senator Durbin and the Chicago delegation for taking this important step to help Chicago modernise the Red and Purple lines."
CTA’s full-funding grant agreement with the FTA is the final step in securing the amount required for the $2.1bn first phase of the RPM project.
US Senator Dick Durbin said: “I worked to establish the Core Capacity programme in 2012 so cities with ageing infrastructure, like Chicago, could make significant improvements to the busy transit systems millions of commuters rely on daily.
“The funding announced today builds on $191m already received from the federal government, and will expand capacity, create jobs, and improve accessibility for local residents along the red and purple CTA lines.”
As part of the RPM, a portion of CTA’s busiest rail line, the Red Line, will be rebuilt.
In the first phase, the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr rail stations and more than a mile of adjacent tracks and track structure will be rebuilt.
A Red-Purple bypass will also be reconstructed to improve overall service that will benefit the entire Red Line by increasing capacity.
The Chicago City Council approved creation of a dedicated tax-increment financing district (TIF) in November last year that will generate $622m to support the first phase of RPM.
The project is a key part of Emanuel’s ‘Red Ahead’ programme aimed at improving the Red Line, which carries more than 30% of rail riders.
Design and engineering work is expected to begin this year, with construction work due to start in late-2018.
Image: The Red and Purple Modernisation project will see the reconstruction of rail stations. Photo: courtesy of dennis spelt.