About the Orange Line Extension
Connecting Midway to Ford City
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing to make transportation improvements by extending the Orange Line from Midway Station at the Midway International Airport south along the Belt Railway Company right-of-way from 59th Street to Marquette Road, crossing the Belt Railway Company Clearing Yard and ending on Cicero Avenue.
CTA and the Federal Transit Administration will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate the environmental effects of constructing and operating the proposed extension.
The EIS will build upon the analysis, review and public and agency input found in the Alternatives Analysis, as well as the input received during scoping. The Alternatives Analysis process which started in 2006 and completed in 2009 with a recommendation of a range of alternatives to be studied in the EIS. As part of a two-step screening process, CTA has hosted two public meetings over the past two years in order to gather input from the public about alternative options. CTA evaluated several alternatives and has adopted the Belt Railway Company and Cicero Avenue Alternative as the Locally Preferred Alternative for further study in the EIS. The proposed Orange Line Extension will be further refined during the conceptual design phase of the project and is being carried forward for additional study in the EIS.
The next step is preparation of a draft EIS. The draft EIS will describe the refined purpose and need, evaluate potential impacts of each alternative, including refined alternatives that may be developed based on input received during scoping. Once a draft EIS is completed, it will be made available for public review and comment. The schedule for development of the EIS is dependent on the availability of funding and federal approvals. Check back here for updates on the status of the draft EIS.