The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $56.7 million construction contract to rehabilitate the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line Howard station, which will bring major overall improvements to the facility and boost ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts in the Howard Street area. The Howard station is a major transportation center serving transit customers on the CTA's Red, Purple and Yellow Lines, seven CTA bus routes and two Pace bus routes.
?The Howard station is a vital transportation link between the City of Chicago and several northern suburbs," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Bringing this facility to a state of good repair, making it accessible to our customers with disabilities and incorporating many modern features will greatly enhance the transit experience for our customers."
As a result of a competitive bidding process, CTA has selected Chicago-based James McHugh Construction Company to rehabilitate the existing station. The work will create a state-of-the-art ADA accessible station and include renovating the existing station house and platform areas; and upgrading communications, electrical and lighting systems. The station will also feature customer-friendly amenities such as new benches, signs, and bike racks and new wind breaks and canopies to protect customers during inclement weather.
The construction contract also includes the rehabilitation of the existing Howard Street viaduct and the retail space on the north side of Howard Street; and the creation of a new entrance at the south end of the station. The new south entrance will provide a convenient, accessible path between the station platforms and the multi-story parking garage and bus terminal on the west side of the station that were completed in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Additionally, new facilities will be constructed on the second floor of the station house for the Red Line Rail Operations and CTA Maintenance Departments.
"More and more people are riding the CTA, and we need to invest in our system so that it can meet increased demand and continue to provide commuters with a viable, affordable option to driving," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown.
The station will be equipped with security cameras and linked to the CTA security camera network when complete. In addition, artwork will be installed to enhance the look of the newly rehabbed facility.
The project is scheduled to begin in spring 2006 with expected completion in 2009. The Regional Transportation Authority and proceeds from CTA Bonds are providing the funding.
The Howard station serves as a free transfer point between the CTA Red, Yellow and Purple Lines. The station serves as an entry point for 6,054 rides on an average weekday, 5,078 rides on an average Saturday and 3,083 rides on an average Sunday. In 2005, ridership for the year at the station was 1,926,006.
The Red Line is the busiest rail line in the CTA rail system, totaling 64,412,955 million rides in 2005. # # #