December 7, 2002

New connection benefits Red, Orange, Green Line riders

Mayor Richard Daley today unveiled a new underground transfer tunnel connecting the CTA State/Roosevelt Red Line subway with the Green/Orange Line elevated station.

"The Near South Transfer Tunnel connects the CTA's Red Line subway with the Orange and Green elevated lines, providing a convenient, accessible transfer between the stations," said Mayor Daley. ?Until now, passengers had to exit one station and walk outside to reach the other."

?This tunnel connection is another creative element of Mayor Daley's vision for interconnecting the transit system with neighborhoods, the city and the region," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "He recognizes that public transit is a valuable asset for the region and he is re-energizing it in much the same way that he has re-energized Chicago."

The new, 220-foot tunnel is the latest in a long line of CTA station renovations and improvements, said Commissioner Miguel d?Escoto of CDOT, the department that managed the construction project. Over the past decade, CDOT has renovated or built more than 15 stations and performed numerous structure and facility upgrades ? and investment of nearly $800 million.

?Working with the CTA, we continue to make important improvements for transit users," d?Escoto said.

The last transfer tunnels, at Jackson and Washington, were built in the 1940s, d?Escoto said.

Among the thousands of daily passengers using the State/Roosevelt station are visitors to the nearby Museum Campus. ?Public transit is a vital link for visitors and employees traveling to and from the Museum Campus," said Lisa Boulden Williams, Museum Campus director. ?We are proud to be a partner in this important endeavor."

At the east end of the tunnel, CTA users enter a two-story atrium adorned with a large mural composed of more than 4,000 clay tiles created by visitors to the Museum Campus in 1999. The mural, titled ?Hopes and Dreams," was created by Juan Angel Chavez and Corrine Peterson of the Chicago Public Art Group.

"Calling this fully accessible pedway connection a tunnel is really aninjustice," commented Valerie Jarrett, Chairman, Chicago Transit Board. "The Chicago Public Art Group has made it a work of art in every sense, and it is without a doubt one of the finest displays of public art anywhere on the CTA system. Our customers will want to return here often for the visual reward they will receive simply by passing through."

The boldly colored mural depicts clouds, oceans, forests, earth and space.

The tunnel itself features information panels and tile designs representing four eras: precambrian, Mesozoic, Paleozoic and cenozoic. Reflecting the Museum Campus, the tiles feature symbols corresponding with the three Museum Campus institutions: the Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.

Work on the project, which cost $10 million to design and build, began in November 2001. Funding was provided through Illinois FIRST and a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant.

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