LOGAN SQUARE — The California Blue Line station in Logan Square is poised to get $36 million in accessibility upgrades as part of the CTA’s years-long project to ensure all of Chicago’s “L” stations meet disability requirements.
Originally built in 1895, the California Blue Line station doesn’t have elevators and lacks accessibility features that many other “L” stations have. In 2018, the CTA announced the Logan Square train station was in line for accessibility upgrades.
The plan took a step forward this week. At a Thursday City Council Finance Committee hearing, CTA officials said state capital funds will cover most of the California Blue Line improvement project. Also on Thursday, the committee approved filling in the gap with $5.6 million in Tax-Increment Finance (TIF) dollars.
The TIF allocation still needs approval from the full City Council, but it brings the upgrades one step closer to fruition.
CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said the project is currently in the early design phase and couldn’t provide a construction timeline. Hosinski said the TIF funding, if approved, will be used solely for design work.
“The CTA continues to work towards obtaining the additional funding from federal, state, or local sources for this and other project work outlined in future phases of the ASAP Strategic Plan,” Hosinski said in an email.
Under the plan, the California station is slated to get two elevators serving both platforms, three new sets of stairs with emergency exits, wider platforms and other improvements to the station house and streetscape, Hosinski said.
The California station is one of eight to receive accessibility enhancements under the first phase of the CTA’s All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), an initiative aimed at making all “L” stations fully accessible by 2040.
The Logan Square station was prioritized because of the complexity of the work required and its location in a densely populated area, Hosinski said.
Logan Square residents have long complained about the “L” station’s lack of elevators and accessibility features. This project will make it easier for people with mobility issues and in wheelchairs to navigate the station, said Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), whose ward includes the station.
“It’s something that’s been needed for a long time,” La Spata said.
If approved, this will be the second large renovation of the California Blue Line station in the past decade. The station received new platforms, improved lights, new bike racks and more as part of the CTA’s $492 million “Your New Blue” modernization program in 2014.
In the years leading up to the pandemic, and as Logan Square has gentrified, the station has seen explosive growth in ridership.
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