FTA approves Chicago’s Red Line extension development

Red Line extensionThe Chicago Transit Authority has received the approval from the Federal Transit Administration to enter the new starts project development phase of the FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Programme for the Red Line extension project. Entering this phase is a major step in the CTA’s continued commitment to move forward the construction of the RLE project.

“A project of this magnitude requires careful planning and design, which I’m proud to say has been done and will continue every step of the way as we work to advance this transformational project that will benefit the Far South Side and the entire City of Chicago,” CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr said.

During the two-year project development phase, the CTA will complete the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and preliminary engineering documents to successfully meet the federal requirements for this phase.

As part of the CTA’s commitment to the Red Line extension project project, USD 310 million was included in 2020 capital budget towards 30% non‐Federal Capital Investment Grant match commitment, which is also one of the requirements to successfully complete the project development phase. Advancing through CIG programme will allow the CTA to ultimately apply for more than USD 1 billion in federal funds to fund the project, with an estimated cost of approximately USD 2.3 billion.

In February, CTA has signed a USD 38.3 million contract for planning and preliminary engineering services for the line’s extension project.

The CTA has laid the necessary groundwork to ensure it will achieve the milestones within the fast-paced two-year project development timeframe. As a result of these efforts, which include conducting additional in-depth analysis, undertaking additional coordination, and modifying the location of the 130th Street station, the project now has an updated timeline.

While the original project timeline estimated service to begin in 2026, it was based on limited information and published in 2016 as part of the Draft Environment Impact Statement. The authority is committed to the new project timeline, which estimates the start of construction in 2025, and service beginning in 2029, all of which is dependent on securing project funding.

The Red Line extension project involves the construction of a 9 km-long rail section from the existing terminal at 95th/Dan Ryan to 130th Street. It will be served by four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street. Each new station would include bus and parking facilities.


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