CTA to Begin Major Modernization of Illinois Medical District Blue Line Station

August 10, 2016

Revamp To Improve Accessibility, Customer Experience at West Side Station

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced that a $23 million project to renovate and modernize the Illinois Medical District (IMD) Blue Line station will begin next month. CTA also today provided a first look at what the main stationhouse will look like in what is the latest CTA project to invest in neighborhood transit services.

The project will be the largest renovation to the busy rail station since it opened more than 50 years ago. CTA will rebuild the main stationhouse and make numerous improvements that will increase accessibility for customers at the popular station that provides access to major renowned hospitals and health institutions.

“The Illinois Medical District is one of the largest medical centers in our nation, serving four major hospitals and thousands of patients, students and employees every day,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By investing in CTA stations like this one that provides access to health care and jobs for thousands of Chicagoans, we are creating a world-class transit system that better serves our city and those who come here.”

The project will make improvements to all three entrances of the IMD station, including the complete reconstruction of the main stationhouse on Ogden Avenue to make it accessible to customers with disabilities with the addition of an elevator. The project also includes work to upgrade two station-to-platform ramps at the entrances at Damen Avenue and Paulina Street to improve access.

“Under Mayor Emanuel, CTA has committed to making significant improvements to more than one-third of its rail stations, the largest station investment in CTA history,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The improvements we are making to the Illinois Medical District station further our commitment to improving accessibility systemwide for our customers and strengthen the vital transit connections to the busy medical district.”

In addition to accessibility upgrades, the project will also include improved station and platform lighting; the installation of new security cameras; new CTA Bus and Train Tracker displays; and improvements to the station platform canopy. The two auxiliary entrances, at Damen and Paulina, will also be refurbished with new flooring, wall and ceiling finishes, fare-payment equipment and customer assistant kiosks.

The IMD Station is the third-busiest station on the Blue Line Forest Park branch with more than 1 million station entries last year. It provides key connections to four major hospital systems – the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Center and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. The station also serves Malcolm X College and the United Center.

With the exception of the Damen entrance, which was renovated in 1998, the station has otherwise only received minor patchwork repairs since it first opened in 1958, when Dwight Eisenhower was President.

The IMD work will join several other ongoing neighborhood station projects: Reconstruction of the 95th Street Terminal and the Wilson stations on the Red Line; rehab of the Addison, Montrose, Irving Park, Harlem and Cumberland station on the Blue Line as part of Your New Blue; and the new Washington/Wabash station in the Loop.

The IMD station will remain open throughout construction with occasional temporary entrance closures. CTA will work closely with local elected officials and community members to minimize impacts to customers and provide regular project updates and service impacts.

Work will begin in September and the project is expected to be completed in late 2017. The project is funded through TIF funds.

The CTA board today awarded a construction contract to McHugh/UJAMAA Joint Venture I.

For more information on the project, please visit: http://www.transitchicago.com/imd/. 

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