April 2, 2003

An intergovernmental agreement approved today by the CTA Board provides $1 million to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) for preliminary design and engineering work for the construction of a new Loop 'L' station at Washington and Wabash.

The CTA will work with CDOT to design the station, which is needed to replace the time-worn facilities at Madison/Wabash and Randolph/Wabash. Both stations have been in service since the Loop 'L' was completed in 1897 and are within a two blocks of each other. The new facility, to be located between the existing facilities, will be large enough to accommodate customer traffic at both locations.

CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, ?The Loop 'L' is an historic structure and an attraction for thousands of visitors every year. It also serves an important function in bringing workers and shoppers to their downtown destinations every day, and its stations require the amenities customers expect in the 21st Century. The new station at Washington will be thoroughly modern and will include the accessibility that customers with disabilities need to ride our system."

?Wabash is the only segment of the Loop 'L' that has yet to be modernized, and replacing the 105-year-old stations at Madison and Randolph with a state-of-the-art facility at Washington will be a great asset for the Loop," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Washington/Wabash will be the closest station to the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue, and will be accessible to all customers."

Accessibility at the new station will be provided by elevators and escalators. There will also be stairways to both platforms. The platforms will have bright lighting, a communications system with both digital and audio messaging, and windbreaks equipped with overhead heaters for customer comfort during inclement weather.

The project will be staged to allow the Randolph/Wabash station to remain open until the new station is completed. The first phase will require closing and demolishing the Madison/Wabash station to allow new construction to begin. Details about the project will be determined when the design is finalized.

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