CTA approves $25.6 million station renovation to improve accessibility

Posted: 13 July 2023 | | No comments yet

CTA approves the $25.6 million renovation of Austin Green Line station, ensuring full accessibility for individuals with mobility devices through lift installation and other improvements.

CTA approves $25.6 million station renovation to improve accessibility

Credit: Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced that the Austin Green Line station is set to undergo a significant renovation in the near future, aimed at enhancing transport accessibility. As part of CTA’s All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), the station will be equipped with a lift and other improvements to ensure full accessibility for individuals using mobility devices.

The Chicago Transit Board had approved the awarding of a contract, valued at a maximum of £15.3 million, to John Burns Construction Company, LLC, following a competitive procurement process. The necessary funding for this crucial infrastructure project has been obtained from the federal government’s Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. The project has received £20.3 million from STP funds and £5.3 million from the Rebuild Illinois programme, bringing the total budget to £25.6 million.

“The CTA is committed to collaborating with the disability community in our pursuit of achieving 100% accessibility for all customers,” stated CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “By awarding this contract for the Austin Green Line, we are taking another step forward towards realising our goal of making all stations 100% accessible. Furthermore, this provides an opportunity to invest in the Austin community, located on the West Side of our city.”

Originally opened at street level in 1899, the Austin Green Line station has not been upgraded since its re-construction in 1962. The renovation work at the station will involve a complete reconstruction of the main station house at 351 N. Austin Blvd. Upon completion, the station house will feature a new lift and escalator connecting it to the platform above. In addition, an ADA accessible ramp, new stairs and a platform extension will be installed.

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Specifics regarding the project timeline, including the start and completion dates, will be announced at a later stage.

The ASAP Strategic Plan had been unveiled in 2018, serving as a blueprint for achieving full accessibility in all rail stations by 2038. Presently, 103 out of CTA’s 145 rail stations (70%) are ADA accessible. With this recent announcement, funding has been secured for 14 stations, which are currently in various stages of planning, design, or construction.

The ASAP Strategic Plan not only focuses on modernising non-accessible stations but also outlines plans for the phased upgrade and replacement of lifts throughout the system. To date, CTA has obtained £36 million in funding for lift replacement and modernisation efforts. The agency is currently conducting an inventory of lift conditions to facilitate future project work and the development of construction packages.