The Chicago Transit Authority is moving forward with the Garfield Gateway project, through which the transit agency plans to make major enhancements to its Garfield Green Line station.
The CTA says the project aims to develop “a strong community focal point on Chicago’s South Side and an iconic gateway to the Washington Park community,” in addition to improving service.
“The investments we make in local transit are investments in our neighborhoods,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This project will create an iconic gateway to the Washington Park community; further complimenting the larger neighborhood redevelopment initiatives currently underway while enhancing the overall commuter experience.”
The CTA expects work on the project to begin in 2018, with continuous public dialogue about project updates. The project carries an estimated cost of $50 million.
The Garfield Gateway project scope entails extending platform canopies to provide added shelter; improving platform accessibility, including at the station’s elevators and escalators; and installing public art and landscaping to revitalize the station’s appearance for customers.
The CTA received $25 million in federal funding to be allocated toward the project in 2016 through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program.
“The Garfield Gateway Project will better serve the nearly 475,000 passengers who rely on this Green Line station each year. I was proud to support this important project as it competed for TIGER grant funding with others across the nation. These upgrades will improve CTA accessibility and preserve the rich history of the Washington Park neighborhood,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “I will continue to advocate for federal investments like this one that support job growth and allow communities to prosper.”
The project is also expected to rehabilitate the original Garfield station house on the south side of Garfield Boulevard that is no longer in use by customers, but still owned by the CTA and received city of Chicago landmark status in 2001. The CTA says the station house will be restored to its original turn-of-the century appearance and undergo improvements to enable the space to serve the public, such as operating as a community space.
The project plan also includes restoring the original section of elevated track structure spanning Garfield Boulevard, which dates back to 1892. The steel structure will receive new paint and LED lighting.
“This project is an important step toward spurring economic development and improving livability in the neighborhood—benefitting CTA riders and Washington Park residents,” said CTA President Dorval Carter. “It’s also another example of how CTA is making investments that improve both the community and the overall customer experience every day.”
The Garfield Gateway project will also include streetscape enhancements next to the station—in coordination with the Chicago Department of Transportation—to better integrate existing transportation options. Improved pedestrian street crossings, eco-friendly paving materials, median landscaping, bike lanes, benches and bike racks at the station.
The CTA says its Garfield station serves about 475,000 passengers per year and facilitates connections with the #55 Garfield bus, which serves more than 3 million riders annually.