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Public Weighs In On New, Brighter 95th Street Red Line Stop

 This is what the front of the 95th Street Red Line Station will look like after construction.
This is what the front of the 95th Street Red Line Station will look like after construction.
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DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

ROSELAND — Community members got a look at renderings of the future renovated 95th Street Red Line terminal at an open house Thursday evening, showing a brighter station.

Many said they hoped it would help start further development in the area and also expressed optimism that the next step would be to extend the Red Line, the city's busiest, to 130th Street.

The open house was held at Harlan High School, 9652 S. Michigan Ave. CTA officials were on hand to walk people through each rendering, as well as answer questions about the project.

The $280 million project will improve both the south and north side of the station, along with the bus terminal areas.

The renovation of the terminal, which was built in 1969, will offer commuters more space, better amenities and improve the walking flow, officials said.

 Community members were invited to an open house Thursday to learn about the 95th St. Terminal Improvement Project.
Community members were invited to an open house Thursday to learn about the 95th St. Terminal Improvement Project.
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DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

Construction on the south end of the terminal will be completed in late 2017, officials said. The north end will be finished in 2018. The station will remain open throughout construction.

Some of the improvements riders will see, according to the CTA, include:

• A new station building with bright, airy spaces and clear sightliness
• Expanded platforms to provide more room and easier flow of passengers
• Wider bus lanes and increased spacing between bus bays to reduce congestion
• Wider sidewalks and waiting areas in bus terminal for increased passenger comfort and safety
• Additional escalators and elevators

Some of the attendees said they liked the renovations and hope the new station sparks further development.

West Chesterfield President Michael LaFargue said he's excited to see construction in the community. The project is great, he said, but residents are concerned about the community's state after construction.

"We’re very interested in transit-oriented development and mixed-used development around the station," he said.

Having good businesses is "essential for the community," LaFargue said.

Roseland resident Aaron Mallory came to the open house to learn more about the Red Line Extension Project, which would provide service to 130th Street. 

"To see that they’re going in the direction with the Red Line 95th terminal, that’s good, but I’m really looking forward to seeing that extension happening," he said.

A Red Line extension would be "huge" for the South Side, he said.

"That could be the thing that really helps the community transform," Mallory said. "If the Red Line actually extends into the community, there would be opportunities for businesses to come and people would want to move into the community because of the access to the CTA."

CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said that before work on the Red Line Extension can begin, all older existing infrastructure has to be replaced. She said that the same was done with the Red Line South Reconstruction project and the current 95th Street Terminal project.

"CTA continues to move forward with the [Red Line Extension] project," Hosinski said. "Following public meetings in 2014, CTA narrowed the list of alternatives to one 'preferred alternative' with two variations."

Both of the variations, or proposed routes, follow the Union Pacific corridor: one  to the east and the other to the west, she said.

In 2014, the CTA pledged an additional $5 million to provide technical resources to help push the recommended alternatives forward.

Currently, the drafting of the Environment Impact Statement, which is needed to get federal approval and funding, is almost finished, Hosinski said. From there, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will review it.

The CTA and FTA will publicly release the drafted statement later this year and hold public hearings by the end of the year.