First new downtown L station in 20 years opens at Washington/Wabash
Loop North News

(Above) Platform level of new CTA station at Washington & Wabash. Photos obtained from CTA. Click on images to view larger versions.

4-Sep-17 – It cost $75 million but the city replaced two CTA stations with one at Washington & Wabash. Downtown Chicago’s first new L station in 20 years opened last Thursday.

Located along Wabash Avenue between Madison and Washington Streets, it replaces two stations that opened in 1896 – Madison/Wabash, demolished in 2015, and Randolph/Wabash, which will be demolished by the end of 2017.

A “skeletal steel” canopy covers a platform that is longer and wider than most CTA stations in the Loop. The station features all-LED lighting, a real-time train arrival display, bicycle racks, and multiple surveillance cameras. An escalator on the north side takes riders to a mezzanine level in-between the street and platform. There are also four elevators.

Photo obtained from CTA (Left) Stairs on west side of Wabash Avenue leading up to platform.

“The Washington/Wabash station is the latest in Mayor Emanuel and CTA’s $8 billion investment in transit improvement projects to build a 21st century, world-class transit system,” says the city. “Since Mayor Emanuel took office, the CTA has undertaken 46 station modernizations or comprehensive rehabilitations.”

The new station, says the city, will improve travel time around the Loop for passengers and lower maintenance and operational costs for CTA. The city expects Washington/Wabash to become one of the CTA’s ten busiest rail stations, transporting more than 10,000 riders each day on Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, and Purple Lines.

(Right) Turnstiles at Washington/Wabash. In the background are works by Chicago artist Michiko Itatani. Photo obtained from CTA

The $75 million came from a federal program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, which provides money for transportation projects that reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

Other recent improvements downtown include a major renovation of the CTA station at Wells & Quincy Streets.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 4-Sep-17 3:55 PM

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