CTA - Chicago Transit Authority

Orange Line Extension Project

About the Project: Alternatives

Several alternatives, which included alternative routes and alternatives to rail transit, were considered during the Alternatives Analysis process. The alternatives were then narrowed down through public and agency feedback to the three alternatives described below. The Locally Preferred Alternative includes 2.3 new route miles of rapid transit from the existing Orange Line and one additional station at approximately 7600 S. Cicero Ave. with a new bus terminal and parking facilities.

Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA)

The proposed Locally Preferred Alternative would operate partly in a trench and partly at-grade along the Belt Railway Company of Chicago right-of-way between the existing Midway station and approximately 6400 south, where it would transition to an elevated structure above Marquette Road. It would travel under 59th Street and 63rd Street allowing those cross streets to remain open to traffic. It then would veer to the southwest over the BRC Clearing Yard and then continue south on an elevated structure along Cicero Avenue to a new terminal station located on Cicero Avenue at approximately 76th Street.

The Locally Preferred Alternative would include the following features:

Two alignment options along Cicero Avenue to 76th Street will be studied in the EIS:

  1. An alignment above the median of Cicero Avenue (recommended to reduce property acquisition costs and impacts to existing businesses); and
  2. An alignment located directly east of the Cicero Avenue right-of-way.
Map of locally preferred alternative

map thumbnail image

PDF Document Orange Line Extension Project - Locally Preferred Alternative Map(.pdf)
This map shows the locally preferred alternative for the Orange Line Extension Project.

TXT Document Orange Line Extension Project - Locally Preferred Alternative Map (text)(.txt)
This is the text-only description of the Orange Line Extension alternative map.


No Build Alternative

The No Build Alternative is defined as the existing transportation system, plus any committed transportation improvements that are already in the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The Orange Line Project Area has one road improvement project included in the Fiscal Year 2007-2012 TIP, the Cicero Avenue Smart Corridor Project from 37th Street to 63rd Street scheduled for completion in 2009. All elements of the No Build Alternative are included in each of the other alternatives.



Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative

The proposed TSM Alternative is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) alternative that operates west on 59th Street from the 59th Street Midway Station bus terminal to Cicero Avenue, and then south on Cicero Avenue from 59th Street to approximately 76th Street.


The Transportation System Management Alternative would operate in mixed traffic with signal priority on Cicero Avenue segment. It would include the following features:

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