Mayor Richard M. Daley today officially opened the newly reconstructed Chicago Transit Authority Green Line station at Lake Street and Pulaski Road.
The project includes new station houses on both the inbound and outbound sides, which have concrete floors and are enclosed with glass curtain walls. New canopies over both platforms will allow customers to wait for trains while protected from the elements. New shelters with overhead infrared heaters will provide warmth during cold-weather months.
Each station house has a new elevator, stairway, audio-visual signage for customers with disabilities, brighter lighting and a wheelchair-accessible turnstile.
"When we rebuilt the Green Line in 1995, we weren't able to do as much work on the stations as we would have liked," Daley said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "This station received new concrete platforms, but there wasn't enough money for new station houses and the accessibility improvements that are necessary to make the CTA a viable transportation option for all the residents of Chicago, especially the elderly and disabled."
"Today, I am pleased to announce that we have completed the project and that residents of the Garfield Park community now have the station they need and deserve."
Daley was joined at the ceremony by CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett; CTA President Frank Kruesi; David K. Hanson, director on the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities; and Ald. Ed Smith (28th).
The $7.51 million project was financed with $4 million from the CTA, $2.3 million from the Federal Transit Administration, $663,000 from the Regional Transportation Authority and $547,000 from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The station is just one of the 26 CTA rail stations that are undergoing improvements to make them more attractive and convenient for customers and accessible to customers with disabilities.
Improvements to rail stations are among the many exciting capital investment projects that are now a common sight throughout the CTA system. The CTA's five-year capital improvement plan identifies $4.6 billion worth of projects that are necessary to bring the CTA into a state of good repair.
Just a few years ago, the CTA could fund only about 19 percent of its capital needs. Thanks to the efforts of Daley, Speaker Dennis Hastert and Gov. George H. Ryan, the CTA now has the funding for nearly 70 percent, or $2.8 billion, of its capital projects. The Governor's Illinois FIRST program provided the regional funds necessary to match available federal funds. In addition, their leadership helped secure $384 million in New Start money to rebuild the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line.
The agency's largest capital improvement priority is the reconstruction of the Cermak (Douglas) Branch of the Blue Line. Earlier this year, a full-funding grant agreement formalized the federal government's commitment to share the $482 million cost of reconstructing the 102-year-old rapid transit line on Chicago's West Side. Under the agreement, the federal government will pay $384 million, with $80.9 million coming from Gov. Ryan's Illinois FIRST program and the balance coming from regional funding.
The legislation also provided the flexibility in the disbursement of the funding so that this important project can get underway as quickly as possible. Construction work is expected to begin later this summer.###