Mayor Emanuel Announces Lake Street Reconstruction Project

April 25, 2018

Project Marks First Step Towards New CTA Green Line Station at Lake and Damen

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the reconstruction of a section of Lake Street that will serve as the foundation for a new CTA Green Line station on the Near West Side. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward) today broke ground on the project at Lake and Damen, which is a key part of the Mayor’s plan to deliver a 21st century transportation system for all of Chicago.

“Today marks a milestone in the development of the Near West Side as we begin major improvements to Lake Street that will spur even greater economic activity and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the area,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We are also taking the first steps towards building a new CTA elevated station at Damen and Lake.  With the support of Alderman Walter Burnett, we will close the transit gap and provide local residents and businesses in this fast-growing neighborhood a new station that will make the community stronger and more accessible for generations.”

The Lake Street project will fully reconstruct a half-mile stretch of Lake Street from Ashland to Damen. It will improve access for trucks in the bustling Kinzie Industrial Corridor by increasing the vertical clearance under the tracks, and will also begin the foundation for the new station by relocating structural columns that support the elevated tracks to accommodate the new station.

The $60 million Damen station will be the fourth new Chicago CTA station added to the CTA rail system by Mayor Emanuel since 2011, and will serve a Near West Side community that has seen notable residential and commercial growth in recent years.

The new station will improve public transit options for businesses and industries along the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, visitors to the United Center, and nearby residents, including tenants of the Chicago Housing Authority's Villages of Westhaven complex.

“Giving residents more transportation options can open up more employment opportunities, make it easier for them to get to schools and improve their overall quality of life," Ald. Burnett said. "I am pleased that the City is moving forward on closing the gap in public transportation that will assist our residents and allow for future growth in our community."

“The Lake Street reconstruction project is a great example of how CDOT is working to upgrade infrastructure across the City of Chicago,” CDOT Commissioner Scheinfeld said. “At the same time, we are laying the groundwork for the new CTA Green Line station at Damen and Lake, which will raise the profile of the neighborhood and improve connectivity to the rest of the City for residents and businesses.”

“As we’ve seen many times, investment in new and improved CTA stations pays great dividends for communities across the city,” CTA President Carter said. “We look forward to bringing a new convenient and affordable transportation option to this community to make it easier for people to get to and from work, school and their other destinations. As we’ve seen in other communities where new stations have opened, we expect that this will promote private investment in this community.”

The Damen station project is being led by CDOT and is being designed by Perkins Will, a global architecture and design firm known for striking transit station projects from British Columbia to Chongqing City, China.

Following the relocation of the columns at Damen, work on the foundation is expected to start in late 2018 with work on the station house to start in the spring of 2019. The station is expected to open in 2020.

Similar in-fill stations, or stations that close the gap between existing stations, were built at Morgan (Green and Pink lines, 2012) and Cermak-McCormick Place (Green Line, 2015).

The $12.9 million Lake Street reconstruction project will be complete by the end of 2018 and will include the following improvements:

  • Full reconstruction of a half-mile section of the existing street.
  • Increasing the vertical clearance under the CTA elevated structure to better accommodate truck traffic that serves industry along the corridor.
  • Relocation of four of the CTA elevated structure columns at the intersection of Damen and Lake to support the new transit station.
  • Curb and gutter reconstruction to improve drainage.
  • Replacement of drainage and utility structures.
  • Replacement of all sidewalks and driveways.
  • ADA curb ramp upgrades.
  • Installation of 103 new “Twin Acorn” ornamental street lights.
  • A total of 46 new trees in pits and parkways.
  • Modernization of three signalized intersections at Damen, Wood and Paulina.

Traffic Impacts:

The project, which is due for completion in December, will have major traffic impacts and CDOT has been working with the Alderman to alert residents and business about what they can expect.

Through June 2018, Work Zone on north side of Lake Street:

  • West bound Lake Street closed at Ashland - traffic detoured via Ashland to Grand to Western, back to Lake Street.
  • One way east bound traffic will be maintained on the south side of Lake.

May 2018 to September 2018, Work at Damen and Lake to relocate CTA columns:

  • Lake Street closed in both directions at Damen (No through traffic will be allowed from Damen).
  • Eastbound and Westbound traffic detoured via Ashland, Grand, and Western.
  • Through traffic maintained on Damen, one lane in each direction.

June 2018 to December 2018, Work Zone on the south side of Lake Street:

  • One way east bound traffic maintained on the north side of Lake - work on south side of Lake.
  • Westbound traffic detoured via Ashland to Grand to Western, back to Lake Street.

October 2018, resurfacing work


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