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The State & Lake CTA Station Is Getting A Multimillion-Dollar Overhaul

By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Oct 13, 2017 7:00PM

Waiting for a train at State and Lake (Photo by Kevin Irvine via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

The second busiest CTA station in the Loop is next up to get a major overhaul, the Mayor's Office announced this week. State and Lake was constructed in 1895, and there have been discussions for over 10 years about how to bring it into the 21st century. Thanks to a $56.9 million federal grant secured, those plans are now moving forward.

"The CTA hub at State and Lake is an iconic location in the heart of Chicago and it deserves a state-of-the-art station," Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. "This project has been talked about for more than a decade, and now we are moving forward on plans to rebuild this station and ensure a modern and reliable transit system for Chicago's residents."

The new project will be similar to the new Washington and Wabash superstation that opened in August. It will be fully accessible, the platforms will be wider and it will be designed to look like it was built in the 21st Century, instead of the 19th Century. The station is a crucial one in the CTA system: there were more than 3.1 million entries at the State and Lake Station last year.

The first step will be designing the new station, and an additional $5.5 million has already been set aside for that purpose. CDOT is managing the project, and it's expected to issue a request for proposals by the end of the year. There won't be a timeline for construction until more details of the project have been hammered out.

The $56.9 million grant announced today won't cover the full cost of reconstruction, but it is crucial funding that means the project can move forward. The City says that it is working on pursuing more federal funding to cover the rest of the costs. For comparison, the Washington and Wabash Station ended up costing $75 million, and this project is expected to cost more.

In addition to modernizing its outdated stations, the CTA has been opening new stations along its current lines. For instance, the CTA is currently in the design phase of creating a new Green Line Station at Damen and Lake, which is just a few blocks north of the United Center.