Biden’s budget calls for $350 million in funding toward the CTA Red Line Extension – NBC Chicago

Biden’s budget calls for $350 million in funding toward the CTA Red Line Extension – NBC Chicago
Biden’s budget calls for $350 million in funding toward the CTA Red Line Extension – NBC Chicago

The Chicago Transit Authority has been exploring the idea of ​​extending the Red Line south from 95th Street for years, but that vision could take a significant step closer to reality thanks to a massive influx of funds from President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

The proposed budget, released Thursday, earmarks nearly $4.5 billion for 18 major transit projects in 11 states, and one of those projects is the CTA Red Line extension, with the president calling for $350 million in funding for the undertaking.

The proposed extension would run for 3.6 miles between the Red Line’s current stop at 95thth Street to 130th Street, according to officials.

Four new stations will be added along the route, with park-and-ride facilities installed at each station to help ease vehicular and bicycle traffic in these areas. A new railcar storage and maintenance facility will also be built at 120th Street, according to CTA officials.

A new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that would help provide financial support for the expansion was approved by the Chicago City Council last year.

In total, the project is expected to cost 3.6 billion dollars. The TIF district would pump in an estimated $959 million in funding for the project, with the remaining $2 billion expected to come from the federal government and other sources.

“The Red Line Extension project represents one of the most critical investments in CTA history and will undoubtedly be a transformative development for our Far South Side community,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

According to officials, 67 million riders used the Red Line in 2019, making it the CTA’s most-used line.

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According to a press release, a transit facility improvement area was designated between Madison Street and 134th Streetth Street, extending for half a mile in each direction. It will determine where TIF funds can be used.

A redevelopment project area was designated between Madison and Pershing Road, which would generate property tax growth on 7,726 parcels of land spread over 1,445 acres within a half mile of the TFIA.

Finally, a TIF redevelopment plan will be drafted to outline the scope, budget and allocation of funds generated by the new district.

“The Red Line Extension will be one of the largest single investments on the Far South Side in decades,” said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. in a statement. “RLE has been a community-driven project from the start, and members of the surrounding communities will remain important in helping to shape this project and the way forward.”

According to the plan, which can be seen on the Chicago City Clerk’s website, the tracks for the project would be elevated between 95th Street and 119thth Street before returning to street level through 130th Street on the Far South Side.

Stations will be built at 103rd Street, 111th Street, near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 116thth Street, and at 130th Street near the Altgeld Gardens housing complex, according to officials.

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