Regional riders got some good news yesterday. As you may have read in Crain’s Chicago Business or the Chicago Tribune, our region is set to benefit from just under $1.1 billion in federal grants to rebuild a key stretch of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line north.
The CTA reports that the grants will be used to replace the track structure and improve bridges and viaducts between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr avenues as well as upgrade signals between Belmont Avenue and Howard Street and to build a “flyover” that will separate the Red and Purple line tracks from the Brown Line tracks north of Belmont Avenue. The money will be matched with city property taxes collected by a special transit tax-increment financing district that the City Council in November unanimously voted to establish, covering property one half mile on either side of the Red Line from North Avenue to the city limits.
When the work is complete, the CTA estimates the life of the nearly 100-year-old tracks in that area will be extended by at least 60 years. The project is slated to begin in late 2018.