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More Money Problems for Block 37, CTA

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jun 9, 2008 4:59PM

2008_6_9.block37.jpgBlock 37 is a black hole where money and plans go to die, and when you combine those forces with the CTA's money-guzzling abilities, well, it's the financial equivalent of a a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see. Time to call City Hall for a bail-out.

According to Crain's, the city is set to shell out an additional $20 million in TIF money for the el stop under Block 37. But it won't be enough, even on top of the $60-70 million the CTA has already poured into the project, which means the station could be "mothballed," just left to rot in its state of incompletion.

Originally, the superstation, which will connect the Red Line underneath State with the Blue Line under Dearborn Street, was budgeted at $213 million, with the city and CTA providing about $173 million of that. But spending now is estimated at about $320 million — including mothballing costs but excluding what will be needed to complete construction.

Way back when, the station was going to have express trains from Block 37 to O'Hare and Midway, until the CTA found out that building extra tracks would cost about $1.5 billion. [Crain's, image via]