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O'Hare Blue Line Renovations Receive Major Federal Boost

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 6, 2015 9:45PM

The Jefferson Park terminal will receive $25 million in upgrades (Photo credit: Joseph Palmer)
Chicago Transit Authority’s $492 million plan to modernize the Blue Line’s O’Hare branch received a significant boost Thursday with $120 million in federal funding. The “Your New Blue” project aims to cut 10 minutes off the commute the Grand Avenue and O’Hare International Airport stations and has already resulted in rehabbed and renovated stations at Damen, Western and California Avenues.

Nearly $25 million will be earmarked for modernizing the Jefferson Park terminal, which also serves Metra rail and Pace Suburban bus commuters. Expect new escalators, a revamped bus drop area and canopy in the future there.

While the entire Blue Line needs to be modernized, the O’Hare branch currently takes priority because ridership along that branch has outpaced the growth of CTA’s overall rail system. Weekday ridership has increased 25 percent over the past five years, weekend ridership has increased 33 percent in the past decade and more than 25 million people entered the O’Hare station last year. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Every Chicagoan knows how important it is to be able to take a convenient, reliable trip on the L to and from O’Hare.

“By upgrading the Blue Line, this project will improve access to 21st century transportation for the entire region. Going forward, we want to bring these opportunities to other parts of the country, working with Congress to develop a long-term funding solution for transit, roads, bridges and other crucial infrastructure.”