CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Transit Authority announced plans Thursday for a new ‘L’ station on the Green Line at Damen Avenue.
According to a press release from the Office of the Mayor, the new station should fill a 1.5 mile gap between Green Line stations at California and Ashland. The new stop will hopefully improve public transit options for visitors to the United Center, businesses in the Kinzie Corridor, and nearby residents, such as tenants of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Villages of Westhaven complex.
The new Damen station will be the third new CTA stop opened by Emanuel since 2011. In the press release, he said it “will fulfill a longstanding need for better transit options in the neighborhood and spur economic activity, improving quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the area.”
According to the mayor’s office press release, the Kinzie Industrial Corridor Tax Increment Financing district will help fund the project. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2018. The project should take two years to complete.
27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett announced the plans with the mayor and expressed his satisfaction.
“I am pleased that the City is moving forward on closing the gap in public transportation that will assist our residents and allow for future growth in our community,” he said.
Stations that close the gap between already existing ones were developed at Morgan for the Green and Pink lines in 2012. Another was made at Cermak-McCormick Place for the Green Line in 2015.
According to the mayor’s office, the number of business licenses and construction permits doubled in the first year after the Morgan station was built. Emanuel’s office also said the weekday ridership increased by more than 40 percent during the station’s first year of operation. Google relocated near the station and many restaurants and shops have opened up.
CTA President Dorval Carter also announced the new Damen station plans with Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Burnett. He said investment in new CTA stations usually benefits city communities.
“Providing a convenient, affordable transportation option makes it easy for people to get to and from work, school and their other destinations. And new stations have been shown to promote private investment in the surrounding area,” he said.
Since 2011, more than 30 percent of the CTA system has received major renovations or has been remodeled. Some notable projects include work done on 95th Street and Wilson stations on the Red Line, and a new ‘L’ station at Washington and Wabash.