Mayor Emanuel and CTA Announce Major Milestone in the Modernization of the Illinois Medical District Station

July 24, 2017

Upgrades to the IMD Blue Line station are expected to create more than 300 jobs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced the reopening of the Illinois Medical District (IMD) Blue Line station’s Damen Avenue entrance—a major milestone in the $23 million renovation of the IMD station, which serves more than 940,000 riders annually and provides access to four major hospital systems located within the nation’s largest urban medical district.

Opened nearly 60 years ago, the IMD Station provides affordable and convenient access to the more than 29,000 employees and 50,000 daily visitors to the Illinois Medical District as well as Malcolm X College and the United Center.

The IMD project, which includes upgrades to station’s access points on Damen, Ogden and Paulina, is part of Mayor Emanuel and CTA’s larger investment of more than $8 billion to build a 21st century, world-class transit system. The Damen Avenue entrance received upgrades to make it more accessible and attractive to CTA customers, including additional lighting, more security cameras, a reconstructed station-to-platform ramp and a CTA Bus and Train Tracker display to provide real-time arrival information convenience to customers.

“The Illinois Medical District station is a vital public transit connection to one of the nation’s largest medical districts and this renovation will help it better serve the nearly one million people that go through it annually,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By investing in a 21st Century, world-class transit system we are investing in a stronger future for Chicago, its neighborhoods and its residents.”

“We are proud to be improving this critical access point for the thousands of riders who currently travel through IMD each day to reach the various medical facilities and other services available in the area,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The opening of the Damen entrance reflects our commitment to completing each of our projects on time and in accordance with the needs of the surrounding community.”

Additional improvements at the Damen entrance include new flooring and stainless steel wall finishes, while its station-to-platform ramp was completely reconstructed to provide enhanced accessibility so passengers using wheelchairs and other mobility devices can better access the station.

With the completion of the Damen entrance improvements, CTA will temporarily close and begin work on the Ogden and Paulina entrances to the IMD Station on Friday, July 28. 

The stationhouse at the Ogden entrance will be completely rebuilt and this main entrance to the IMD station will also receive a new elevator and set of stairs. Similarly to Damen, the Paulina entrance will have its station-to-platform ramp reconstructed for better access and will be refurbished with new flooring, wall and ceiling finishes. Both access points will receive upgrades that include improved lighting, additional security cameras and CTA Bus and Train Tracker displays.

The IMD station is the fourth-busiest station on the Blue Line Forest Park branch with more than 940,000 station entries, providing access to 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 $23 million project, which is being financed using TIF funds, will create more than 60 direct and close to 300 indirect jobs, employing those in the local community.

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