CTA takes ‘significant’ step toward securing funding for Red Line extension

The 5.6 mile-extension of the southern end of the Red Line is tentatively expected to begin service in 2029.

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Then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined CTA President Dorval Carter to announce that the route for the Red Line extension had been finalized.

Then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined CTA President Dorval Carter to announce that the route for the Red Line extension had been finalized.

Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times,

The Chicago Transit Authority’s planned Red Line extension has made a “significant” step toward securing about $1 billion in federal funds, the transit agency announced Monday.

Without the Federal Transportation Administration’s preliminary approval of the CTA’s plans, the project likely would have hit a dead-end, CTA officials said.

But officials also said train service on the 5.6-mile extension — if the federal money is approved — is set to begin in 2029, three years later than originally planned. The earlier date was a preliminary estimate and based on “limited information,” according to the CTA.

The CTA now has two years to complete the next phase, which includes finalizing the project’s environmental impact statement and drawing up preliminary engineering documents.

“While this year has brought forth a tremendous amount of uncertainty, one thing that remains certain is CTA’s unwavering commitment to advancing the Red Line Extension project,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr., said in a statement. “A project of this magnitude requires careful planning and design, which I’m proud to say has been done and will continue every step of the way as we work to advance this transformational project that will benefit the Far South Side and the entire city of Chicago.”

The extension is expected to add four new stations between 95th and 130th streets, with a total price tag of about $2.3 billion.

The route would run along the west side of the Union Pacific railroad tracks from I-57 south to about 109th Street, then cross over to the east side of the UP tracks until it crosses the Metra Electric tracks near 119th Street before continuing south to 130th Street.

A planned extension of the CTA’s Red Line would add four stations between the current end point of 95th Street and new terminus at 130th.

A planned extension of the CTA’s Red Line would add four stations between the current end point of 95th Street and new terminus at 130th.

CTA

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