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CTA Lands $1.1 Billion In Federal Funds For Red & Purple Line Upgrades

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 9, 2017 3:55PM

Photo credit: Stephanie Barto

The city’s beat-the-clock plan to secure major federal funds for CTA upgrades ahead of the presidential transition has come to fruition. The CTA will receive some $1.1 billion in federal grants to modernize the heavily trafficked Red and Purple Lines.

Local officials laid the groundwork for the federal funds back in November when the City Council created a new tax increment financing (TIF) district to partially fund the $2.1 billion upgrade project. It was part of a post-election hustle that—considering Trump’s vision of transportation support appears more geared toward highway construction than urban mass transit—had city officials scrambling to secure the necessary dollars. Sen. Dick Durbin, the departing President Barack Obama and others at the federal level have now done their part.

The project—which is the largest capital project in CTA history—will help rebuild Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations; replace track structures and improve infrastructure between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr Aves.; and fund an ambitious Belmont flyover that separates Red/Purple Line tracks from the Brown Line track.

"This type of investment in transit is an investment in Chicago's residents and neighborhoods, connecting them to jobs, education and more. I want to commend everyone who worked throughout this process to make this project a reality," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

The modernization project will start late next year.