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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Block Club Chi: Red Line extension is now closer than ever

 The most recent reporting on the future Red Line extension which will take the L further south into Roseland to 130th Street. As I read this article no money has been allocated to start this project yet.

Block Club Chi:

The city’s transit agency is asking for more than $2 billion in federal funding for its Red Line Extension project, which Far South Siders say would relieve a “transportation desert” and boost the local economy if completed equitably.

The Chicago Transit Authority’s $3.6 billion plan to extend the Red Line nearly 6 miles would move its terminal from 95th Street to 130th Street. Stations would be built at 103rd and 111th streets near Eggleston Avenue, at Michigan Avenue near 116th Street and at 130th Street near Altgeld Gardens.

The CTA also wants to create a “transit” tax-increment financing (TIF) district to fund nearly a quarter of the project, build a train yard at 120th Street and support transit-oriented developments in the neighborhoods near the new stations, officials said.
Now, CTA officials say they’re closer than ever to securing full funding for the project. Early design work and environmental reviews for the extension are nearly complete, they said, and they’re preparing to ask for up to $2.16 billion from the federal New Starts program, which support new rail lines and rail extensions costing more than $300 million or needing more than $100 million in funding.

The Red Line Extension project has been in the preliminary “project development” phase for potential New Starts funding since 2020, and it is ready to take the next step toward receiving the funding, officials said.

“We want to ask for a line in the federal budget later this summer, which will queue us up for the full funding grant agreement we hope to get in 2024,” said Leah Mooney, director of strategic planning and policy for the agency.

The CTA estimates construction can begin in 2025 if funding is secured, with Red Line service coming to the Far South Side by the end of the decade.

The Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line was opened in 1969 - that's the segment that goes from Cermak-Chinatown (or 22nd Street for you oldtimers) all the way to 95th Street. As you would see in the article people have been expecting this extension for over 50 years and future plans have come and gone over the years. They even mentioned the mayor who was around for the Dan Ryan extension - Richard J. Daley - promised a future extension from 95th Street. 

Of course those promises have gone through several mayors especially Rahm Emanuel. I don't know of Mayor Lightfoot's position, however, I can only wonder the position on this project by her many opponents in next years mayoral race.

BTW, I just wanted to share this story from CBS Chicago from last year about the future Red Line extension [VIDEO]

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