An artist's rendering for the planned reconstruction of the Wilson Red Line station, looking northwest at Wilson and Broadway.
Wilson Station Reconstruction
The $203 million Wilson Station Reconstruction Project will be one of the largest CTA ‘L’ station projects in the agency’s history. The planned reconstruction of the Wilson Red Line station is slated to begin in 2014, and will replace the badly deteriorated facility that was built in 1923. The completely rebuilt, modern and accessible station will serve as a new transfer point between Red and Purple Line Express train service.
The Wilson Station Reconstruction Project will provide station access to persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today, the Wilson station is not accessible. The new stationhouse will feature two elevators for vertical access to the platforms; ramps; wheelchair access at the fare gates; Braille signage and two of the three new station entrances and exits will be accessible.
The project would also include significant track and structural work that will allow for easy and convenient transfers between the Red Line and Purple Line Express; enhance the street-level environment on Broadway; and improve CTA operations. New, brighter lighting and the installation of more than 100 security cameras throughout the stations and its three entrances will help improve customer safety. Additionally, the restoration of the 1923 stationhouse facade and former clock tower (at the corner of Wilson/Broadway) would make it a viable space for future retail or business development, thus creating an anchor for revitalization and economic development in the Uptown neighborhood.
On this page:
Environmental Assessment & Section 4(f) Evaluation
What is an Environmental Assessment?
An Environmental Assessment evaluates potential impacts to the community, natural environment and historic resources that my result from the Wilson Station Transfer Project on the Red Line.
What is the Section 4(f) Evaluation?
The Wilson Station Reconstruction Project is a transit project seeking federal funding and discretionary approvals through FTA. Therefore, Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 applies. The law provides an opportunity for the protection of historic resources from potentially adverse impacts for federal transportation projects.
On January 27, 2014, the Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation for this project was made available:
Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation (accessible text version)
A public hearing was held on February 18, 2014. See materials presented at the hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will the new station look like?
The following are renderings of what the proposed Wilson station will look like and how we plan to restore the 1923 stationhouse facade to its original appearance.
What improvements will I see with the new Wilson station?
The new station design features contemporary architecture including steel framed, translucent canopies and a striking, glass-enclosed entrance that will serve as the main station entrance on the south side of Wilson Avenue. Although project plans have not yet been finalized, the current scope of work includes:
Service Transfer Point: the new station will feature two island platforms to allow convenient cross-platform transfers between Red Line and Purple Line Express service – making Wilson the only transfer station between the Howard and Belmont stations.
Improved Access: three station entrances/exits will be available to improve customer convenience and to capture more riders:
- Main Entrance: south side of Wilson Avenue
- Auxiliary Entrance: north side of Wilson Avenue
- Auxiliary Entrance: at Sunnyside Avenue
Accessibility for Customers with Disabilities: the new stationhouse will be accessible to customers with disabilities with the addition of elevators serving the two platforms and other ADA compliant features such as Braille signage and a wheelchair accessible fare gate. The Sunnyside auxiliary entrance will also be accessible to customers with disabilities with ADA-compliant ramps leading from the station entrance to the platforms.
Modern Features: to improve customer convenience, other modern station amenities that will be new or improved upon with the rebuilt station include:
- Wider stairwells
- New escalators
- Additional turnstiles
- New lighting
- New signage, including Braille
- Additional bike parking
- Modern steel framed, translucent canopies
Enhanced Neighborhood Presence: in addition to restoring the terra cotta exterior of the 1923 stationhouse and building a new stationhouse, work will also be performed to better the pedestrian environment on Broadway and Wilson with the removal of some ‘L’ structure support columns from both the street and sidewalk.
Safer and More Reliable Service: to better improve the reliability of service and improve travel times, a significant amount of work will be performed on infrastructure and non-customer facing components such as:
- Replacement of track and viaducts through the station area
- Upgrades to the signaling system
- New elevated support structure
- Removal of all support columns currently located in the street on Wilson and Broadway
- Removal of many support columns currently located on sidewalks along Broadway
How will this project affect my commute?
The Wilson station will remain open throughout the construction project. However, as with any major construction project, changes in service can be expected, details of which will be made available in the future on this web page and publicized via notices and fliers ahead of time.
During the project, CTA will make every effort to minimize impacts to customers, including scheduling work that will impact service to overnight or weekends only.
After the project is complete, passengers will be able to access both Red Line and Purple Line Express trains at the Wilson station. This will help speed commutes for passengers and provide more travel choices.
What is the timeline for project work?
We expect to issue a notice to proceed to the contractor in 2014. Once this notice is issued, project work is currently scheduled to occur over a 33-month period.
How is this project being funded?
More than 80 percent ($170 million) of the $203 million project funding comes from the Illinois Jobs Now! program, with the remaining funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration and tax-increment financing.
The Wilson Station Reconstruction project is part of CTA’s Red Ahead program, a $1 billion comprehensive initiative to maintain, modernize and expand the Red Line – Chicago’s most-traveled rail line. State funding supports much of the $1 billion Red Ahead investment. Collectively, these projects are part of Mayor Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure that's critical to the city, and includes improvements that will help ensure that CTA continues to serve customers as effectively as possible.
Call for Artists
In conjunction with the reconstruction of the Wilson station, CTA will be commissioning and installing new artwork to further enhance the station’s main entrance. The Wilson station serves as a gateway to the burgeoning Uptown neighborhood, which boasts a popular and historic entertainment district, the Little Vietnam neighborhood, Truman College, Montrose Harbor, the Lincoln Park lakefront park and more.
Original artwork adds value not only to our stations and their surrounding communities, but also to the overall transit experience for our riders. There are already more than 50 works of art at 41 stations along the Pink, Red, and Brown lines. Expanding CTA’s collection of permanent art is a valuable investment for our system and the neighborhoods they serve.
A Call for Artists was issued to commission public art for display at the newly reconstructed Wilson station. The deadline for submissions was July 18, 2013; the Call for Artists is now closed. Artists interested in receiving notice of future Calls for Artists should e-mail Elizabeth Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Art Community Meeting
CTA held a community meeting to discuss the Public Art Project and to solicit input from the surrounding community on Tuesday, July 2 at 6 p.m. at the Weiss Memorial Hospital Auditorium, 4646 North Marine Drive.
Additional public meetings to solicit community feedback may be held in the coming months. Dates, times and venues will be posted on this website. If you would like to be notified of any new meetings, contact Jeff Wilson at email@example.com.
Community Meetings Contact
If you are unable to attend this community meeting, but would like to comment on the project, input can be submitted to Jeff Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous Public Meetings
February 2014 Public Hearing
A public hearing was held (public notice) at the Uplift Community High School on February 18 to present the EA and Section 4(f) document for the Project and to receive public comments.
Meeting Presentation (text-only version)
Printed Display Boards (text-only version)
October 2012 Open House
CTA hosted an open house meeting to allow customers and community members an opportunity to view renderings of the proposed Wilson Reconstruction Project, ask questions and submit comments and feedback. Input received will be used to help guide us in finalizing plans for the new station. This meeting was held on October 11, 2012 at Harry S. Truman College.
The complete set of renderings and boards on display during this open house meeting are now available:
Wilson Reconstruction Project Display Boards
If you were unable to attend these meetings, you can still contact us with any comments or feedback on the station renderings via the following:
Chicago Transit Authority
Attn: Wilson Transfer Station Project
567 W. Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60661-1465
DBE Pre-proposal Meetings
The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Wilson Station Reconstruction Project will provide station improvement contracting opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE).
See this flyer (.pdf) for more information.
Meetings were held on the following dates:
- Wednesday, May 1st 2pm to 4pm at:
- Wednesday, May 8th 9am to 11am at:
Chicago Urban League
- Wednesday, May 15th 9am to 1pm at:
- Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn Announce $1 Billion to Rebuild CTA’s Busiest Train Line (Press release, 11/3/11)
- Historic Architectural Survey (Report submitted to FTA/IHPA, 8/17/2012)
- CTA Invites Customers and Community Members to Attend Thursday Open House (Press release, 10/10/12)
- Mayor Emanuel Offers First Look at Planned Wilson CTA Station (Press release, 10/4/12)
- CTA to Host Open House for Wilson Reconstruction Project (Press release, 10/2/12)
- Section 106 Interested/Consulting Parties Meetings Questions and Answers from 1/31/2013 meeting (Document, 3/27/2013)
- Section 106 Interested/Consulting Parties Meetings Questions and Answers from 2/5/2013 meeting (Document, 3/27/2013)
- CTA Announces Artwork Plans for Red Line South Stations (Press release, 06/18/2013)
- Section 106 Interested/Consulting Parties Meeting Presentation from 6/26/2013 meeting (.pdf, 6/27/2013)
- Transcript of Section 106 Interested/Consulting Parties Meeting, 6/26/2013 (.txt 8/7/2013) Transcript prepared by L.A. Court Reporters, LLC and has not been reviewed by CTA for Accuracy
- Section 106 Consulting Parties Meeting Presentation from 8/9/2013 meeting (Document, 8/9/2013)
- Broadway/Leland Animated Walkthrough from 8/9/2013 meeting (YouTube Video, 8/9/2013)
- Transcript of Section 106 Interested/Consulting Parties Meeting, 8/9/2013 (.txt 9/10/2013) Transcript prepared by L.A. Court Reporters, LLC and has not been reviewed by CTA for Accuracy
- Section 106 Consulting Parties Meeting Presentation from 9/23/2013 meeting (Document, 10/15/2013)
- Broadway/Leland Animated Walkthrough from 9/23/2013 meeting (YouTube Video, 10/15/2013)
- Transcript of Section 106 Interested/Consulting Parties Meeting, 9/23/2013 (.txt 10/15/2013) Transcript prepared by L.A. Court Reporters, LLC and has not been reviewed by CTA for Accuracy
- Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Evaluation and Plain Text Version (Documents, 1/27/2014)
- Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment (EA) And Section 4(f) Evaluation And Notice of Public Hearing (Public Notice, 1/27/2014)
- Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) Public Hearing Presentation (and text version); Public Hearing Display Boards (and text version of boards) (Documents, 2/18/2014)
- February 18, 2014 Public Hearing Transcript 1 and Transcript 2 (Documents, April 4 2014)