Over the next four years, travel on Chicago's Blue Line will become faster and more reliable as part of the first renovations to the line since 1984.
The project is part of a $120 million loan from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) announced on Thursday by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Fox.
In the largest upgrade to the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Blue Line since its extension to the O’Hare International Airport in 1984, the project includes improvements to the tracks for reliability and speed. The loan will be used to upgrade the Blue Line’s tracks, and eliminate slow zones from the airport and the downtown center of Chicago.
“The Blue Line is critical to the city of Chicago and the TIFIA loan reduces financing costs to ensure the CTA can complete this project and have a more robust capital plan going forward,” Sylvia Garcia, DOT chief financial officer and assistant secretary for budget and programs, said.
Renovations of the Blue Line will occur over the next four years.
In addition to the loan, funding for the $408.7 million project will also come in part from a 2012 award of $16 million from the DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds to the CTA.