In a major milestone for the long-awaited transit project, the Federal Transit Administration has announced that the Red Line Extension (RLE) project is in line for $1.973 billion in critical grant funding needed to build the project. The grant would be the largest transit infrastructure grant awarded to CTA in the agency’s history.
"Reversing decades of disinvestment starts with providing accessible transportation for all residents of this city," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Today’s announcement serves as an important milestone for this project as we move to enhance capillary connections to create a more connected and accessible Chicago. We will continue to work with stakeholders, the state, and federal government to ensure this project is moving full steam ahead.”
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) notified CTA that the $3.6 billion RLE Project has advanced into the next phase of the federal “New Starts” program – an important step to moving the project closer to groundbreaking. CTA can now begin the “Engineering” phase of the project, which includes further design and engineering needed to build the project and identifies the federal grant dollars CTA can receive for the project once the engineering phase is completed and approved by FTA.
The infrastructure project will add another 5.6 miles of heavy rail both elevated and on grade with 4 new stations. The Red Line will begin stopping at 103rd and Eggleston, 111th and Eggleston, Michigan Ave near 116th, and 130th St near Altgeld Gardens. The project also includes a train storage yard and maintenance shop facility, located along the new tracks near 120th St.
“Today is a great day for the South Side of Chicago,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The Far South Side has been promised for 50 years that the Red Line would be extended to the city’s southern border, and today we can say that promise is significantly closer to being met. This project brings a wealth of job and training opportunities, and it enhances the quality of life for residents who will be able to access jobs and education more easily than ever before.”
The Engineering phase of the project is expected to continue into 2024 and anticipates a funding award by the end of 2024 subject to federal review and approvals. The remaining project funding will come from a $950 million Transit TIF approved by Chicago City Council last year and other sources.