Elevator to be Added at Cermak Entrance
CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez and Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson today announced the opening of a new entrance to the Red Line’s Cermak-Chinatown station. Located approximately one block north of Cermak on Archer Avenue, the new entrance will serve as the primary access point for customers while the main entrance to the station on the north side of Cermak is reconstructed and made accessible. The south entrance on Cermak also will be closed to customers beginning Friday night at 11 p.m.
"Infrastructure improvements like this are very important to CTA but are dependent on capital funding," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "Thanks to the stimulus funds we are able to renovate this station, provide a new entry point and use our scarce capital funds for other much needed projects. When the work is complete at Cermak-Chinatown, customers will be able to enjoy a more modern and accessible station with the added convenience of another entrance and exit."
Beginning Friday, June 4, both the north and south entrances on Cermak will be closed to customers so construction can begin. As a result, the westbound and eastbound #21 Cermak buses will undergo reroutes. The eastbound bus stop at Cermak/Wentworth will be eliminated. Eastbound #21 and #62 Archer buses now will stop in front of the new Archer entrance into the Cermak station.
Westbound buses will stop at Archer/Wentworth to allow customers to access the station at a signal controlled crosswalk rather than crossing in the middle of the road.
"Capital projects such as this require a significant amount of funding; however, they must be done if we are to have a reliable public transit system that serves all customers," said Chairman Peterson. "The availability of stimulus funds is a great opportunity to make improvements the agency otherwise couldn’t afford."
In addition to the creation of the new auxiliary entrance on Archer, the station renovation project involves upgrading the main Cermak entrance by replacing the stairs and escalator, building a new station house at street level on Cermak and constructing a protective perimeter, including posts and planters around the outside of the station. The main Cermak entrance sustained major damage as the result of a traffic accident in April 2008.
An elevator will be installed at the Cermak entrance making the station accessible to customers with disabilities. When construction is complete by the end of 2010, 92 of 144 CTA rail stations (65%) will be accessible.
Ridership at the Cermak station on an average weekday is 3,530. CTA’s Red Line is the busiest line in the rail system with 249,225 rides on an average weekday.
Total cost of the project is $12.5 million and is funded with American Reinvestment Recovery Act – also known as stimulus – funding. CTA received a total $241 million in stimulus funds. Projects funded through stimulus funds include the track renewal project in the Blue Line’s Dearborn Subway and the purchase of 58 hybrid articulated buses.
Wight Hill, A Joint Venture was awarded the contract through a competitive bid.
# # #