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Photos: CTA's New Loop 'Superstation' Is Taking Shape, As Wabash Finally, Finally, Finally Reopens

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Mar 31, 2017 4:50PM

Photo via Chicago Mayor's Office

The city is two years into its epic Loop CTA construction project, which involves combining the Madison/Wabash and Randolph/Wabash CTA stations into one big "superstation" at Washington and Wabash. A stretch of Wabash Avenue between Washington and Madison streets has been closed to through traffic for the better part of that time, snarling commutes, foiling downtown shoppers and confusing rideshare drivers.

But that's all getting closer to changing, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday morning via Twitter, as he toured the still quite-far-from-completed station. The station is slated to open this summer, according to the Mayor's Office. Emanuel also tweeted a thank you to Loop business owners, particularly along nearby Jeweler's Row, who have put up with the years of construction steps away from their shop entrances:

“The re-opening of Wabash represents real progress in our push to give the east side of the Loop a beautiful, modern 21st Century elevated station that we can all be proud of,” Emanuel wrote in a press release Friday afternoon. “We thank all the merchants along Jewelers’ Row who have been open for business and bearing with us during this construction process. We are just a few months away from opening up the new station that will create a fully accessible gateway to the Loop and all the attractions in Millennium Park.”

The old CTA stations that are being phased out when this new station is opened date back to 1896, according to the press release. The new station will be the "first station on the east side of the Loop to be fully ADA accessible, equipped with elevators to the mezzanine and station levels."

The press release also said visitors to the new, $75 million station project should anticipate some thoughtful architectural details in the completed station, including an "undulating wave form of canopies" and a "faceted skeletal steel and glass structure" that is meant to evoje the diamond facets of historic Jeweler's Row, below.