WASHINGTON PARK — CTA's $425 million revamp of the Red Line is expected to have a major impact on the South Side when it reopens this weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Pat Quinn and other government officials said Thursday.
"This is a new Red Line and a new day for the South Side of the city of Chicago," the mayor said at an event held at the Garfield Station.
For the last five months, that station and other Red Line stations south of Roosevelt Road have been closed as part of a 10-mile project aimed at making commutes faster and smoother.
The revamped line reopens Sunday.
Emanuel was among several elected officials who rode the train Thursday morning to the Garfield station.
Afterward, media had an opportunity to ride the train north from Garfield to the Cermak-Chinatown CTA Station.
CTA Chairman Terry Peterson said the 10-mile southern leg of the Red Line is "faster, smoother, better" than before. The project is expected to cut 20 minutes off travel times from the 95th Street Red Line Station to Downtown.
Emanuel said that the Red Line improvements will help the South Side to enjoy the economic growth happening in the rest of the city.
The project is credited with creating 1,500 jobs and paying $82 million to companies and contractors led by disadvantaged groups. CTA officials said the project was completed on time and under budget.