Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 is a federal law that requires consideration of publicly owned parks/ recreational areas that are accessible to the general public, publicly owned wildlife/ waterfowl refuges, and publicly or privately owned historic sites of federal, state, or local significance in developing transportation projects. CTA conducted a Section 4(f) evaluation as part of the project’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
The RLE Project would impact 4.5 acres of Fernwood Parkway between 99th Street and 103rd Street. Mitigation measures were developed in coordination with the Chicago Park District and a total of 4.5 acres of new replacement pocket parks will be created within the Washington Heights community, along the Major Taylor Trail, or additional areas based on future coordination with the Chicago Park District.
Construction of the 130th Street station would close Old 130th Street and eliminate a connection to the access road into the Beaubien Woods Forest Preserve from Old 130th Street. In coordination with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, CTA will provide funding for ecological restoration and habitat enhancement, various Beaubien Woods improvements including the transfer of approximately seven acres of land to Beaubien Woods, and new wayfinding and informational signage.
During project construction, there would be temporary and minor construction activities within Wendell Smith Park. CTA will coordinate to fully restore Wendell Smith Park to the condition that existed prior to the project.