The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has granted a $120m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to upgrade its Blue Line L rail service.
This will see the modernisation of tracks, power supply, signal system and stations along the 19-mile stretch of the Blue Line between the downtown Loop and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
With these developments, the line will be able to offer faster and reliable services and more than 80,000 commuters will benefit from brighter lights and cleaner tunnels, as well as new elevators and artwork.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "By upgrading the Blue Line, this project will improve access to 21st century transportation for the entire region.
"Going forward, we want to bring these opportunities to other parts of the country, working with Congress to develop a long-term funding solution for transit, roads, bridges and other crucial infrastructure."
The US DoT will also support the $408.7m overhaul programme of Blue Line, also known as Your New Blue, with a $16m from its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds awarded to CTA in 2012.
The remaining funding for this upgrade of the Blue Line will be provided by state, local and other sources.
In August 2014, the US DoT awarded $35m in funding to the CTA for its $4.7bn Red-Purple Line Modernization Project.
Image: CTA O’Hare Blue Line Station. Photo: courtesy of bclinesmith from Wilkes-Barre, PA, US.