More answers: Red Line station work; rail line extension projects
Here are more answers to questions I didn't get a chance to ask at the last Coffee with Ron. And by the way, the permalinks to the comments where these questions first appeared are now broken since Typepad started paginating the comments. Grrrrrr. . . .
Regarding the next alternative analysis meetings, the web site says they'll be in "fall 2008." Anything more specific? (From CK.)
Open House presentations on the proposed Orange and Yellow Line Extension projects were held on August 19 and 26, respectively. CTA expects to host an Open House presentation on the proposed Red Line Extension before the end of the year. An Open House presentation on the proposed Circle Line is tentatively scheduled for early 2009. No definitive dates have been set. As soon as the dates are established, CTA will notify the public.
The Wilson, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stops have all been improved, but the signs said all work would be complete by April 2008. Work still continues, but when can we expect it to be complete? Argyle in particular seems badly damaged (although the new canopies are nice) with old rags stuffed in the hole in the wall near the entrance to presumably block further water damage. Also, will the Lawrence stop ever receive a new station or will it always remain a temporary chain link fence structure? (From Chris.)
The station improvement posters that were posted at the stations – that stated April 2008 completion date – have been removed from the stations. These posters were advising customers about the canopy improvements at these stations, which have been completed. The construction taking place at these stations now are projects that include work inside the station houses and additional work on the platform level. The agency expects to be finished with the work by later this fall.
What's the ETA on the auxiliary exit to Polk for the Harrison Red Line stop? (From Kevin.)
The entrance is scheduled to open by the end of the year, featuring improved customer amenities such as a street-entry kiosk, brighter lighting, a new staircase and new signage.
I read there was a hearing to extend the Midway Orange Line to Ford City Mall, which was part of the line's original plan. I would appreciate any information you can relay from that hearing. (From Judee.)
The Orange Line public meeting held on August 19, 2008 was held as part of the Alternatives Analysis process to determine the preferred local alternative for the area. The presentation given at that meeting is posted on the CTA web site.
Feedback gained as a result of the meetings and other analysis will determine if the Orange Line extension is the best possible option. This phase is an early part of the development and funding process.
The Alternatives Analysis phase is just the first of a five step federal process that includes Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction. To apply for funding, the five steps of the News Starts process must be completed. Completing the New Starts process to move to the funding phase is a multiyear endeavor.
Because of the process required to secure funding for projects of this magnitude, it is necessary to plan well in advance for future projects in order to apply for funding.
What about a station on the Paulina Connector at the United Center? Even if it was in use only for games and such, it's almost a no-brainer. I know that capital costs are way out of whack with the slow zone repairs and other expansion plans, but this station along with a 18th Street Green Line station seem very easy. (From JP.)
At this time, there are no capital funds for this project. However, the CTA constantly analyzes its service and looks for the most effective ways to serve communities.