CTA, Mayor, Congressmen Rush and Davis announce Garfield Gateway project

A rendering the updates planned for the Garfield ‘L’ station on 55th Street near Martin Luther King Drive.  –Photo courtesy of the Chicago Transit Authority

A rendering the updates planned for the Garfield ‘L’ station on 55th Street near Martin Luther King Drive. –Photo courtesy of the Chicago Transit Authority

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

Improvements are in the works for the Garfield Green Line Station, 320 E. Garfield Blvd.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) president Dorval R. Carter, Jr. and Mayor Rahm Emanuel along with Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-1) and Danny Davis (D-7) announced, Sunday, Jan. 8, the launch of the Garfield Gateway Project. The plan will make significant improvements to the Garfield Green Line Station.

The Garfield ‘L’ station serves nearly 475,000 riders each year and provides connections to the #55 Garfield bus, serving approximately three million riders annually with direct connections to the University of Chicago and Midway International Airport.

Improvements under the Garfield Gateway project include upgrading platform accessibility, elevator and escalator improvements; and installing public art and landscaping to make the daily customer experience more pleasant.

The project will also rehabilitate the original Garfield station house on the south side of Garfield Boulevard. The station is currently not in use by customers.

The stationhouse is historic and earned City of Chicago landmark status in 2001. It will be restored to its original turn-of-the-century look and will receive improvements to allow it to serve a public purpose, such as a community space.

Also, the project will restore the original section of elevated track structure spanning Garfield Boulevard, which dates back to 1892. The structure will receive new paint and LED lighting to illuminate the structure’s design.

Lastly, the project will include streetscape enhancements next to the station consisting of improved pedestrian crossings, eco-friendly paving materials, sustainable native grasses and plants, bike lanes and bike racks at the station.

In 2016, the CTA received $25 million in federal funding for the project through the U. S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

Work is expected to begin in 2018. The total project cost is estimated at $50 million.

t.hill@hpherald.com