Despite a statewide budget crunch, Chicago governor Pat Quinn and mayor Rahm Emanuel set aside $646 million earlier this month to rehab the city’s busiest train line, the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line.
The money has been earmarked for rebuilding tracks on the route’s southern section. The improvements are expected to shave five minutes on a trip between 95th Street station on the city’s south side to its downtown district. (The line also stretches north all the way to the Rogers Park neighborhood.)
As with any infrastructure project, it will take several years to save a few minutes: track replacement is expected to be completed in 2015.
The money will also be used to completely rebuild the Clark/Division (which serves several nightlife establishments) and Wilson (which serves Truman College) station stops as well as make small improvements to others.
Together with federal, state and city money, the Red Line will receive a $1 billion injection. That’s a lot of money, but not quite enough to revamp what is considered the city’s backbone line — much less extend it, as Emanuel had promised during his mayoral campaign.
“Chicago is a city on the move, and we must be able to move our residents with the speed and comfort that mark modern transportation,” Emanuel said in a statement.
Red Line rehab plans announced [Chicago Tribune]
Photo: Jordan Fischer/Flickr