NEAR WEST SIDE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for a new Green Line "L" station near the United Center on the Near West Side Thursday morning.
The new station at Damen Avenue and Lake Street will fill a 1½ mile gap between existing Green Line stations at California and Ashland. Emanuel announced the new station ahead of his 2017 infrastructure address. Construction on the estimated $50 million project will start at the end of 2018, with the station opening in 2020, according to Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Funding for the project will come from Kinzie Industrial Corridor tax increment financing (TIF) dollars, but Burnett said he is lobbying state and federal agencies to help offset the cost of the project, too.
"But if it don't come through, we got it," Burnett said at the Ashland Green Line "L" stop Thursday.
The Damen and Lake stop aims to better serve the growing business corridor and residential neighborhood on the Near West Side, the Mayor's office said. The new station will provide another transportation option for the Kinzie corridor, United Center visitors and tenants of the Chicago Housing Authority's Villages of Westhaven complex.
Burnett said the new station will give United Center patrons a new public transportation option while helping the surrounding neighborhood. The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago and West Side leaders have pushed for a Damen Green Line station for 15 years.
"It help people to be able go to their churches, and it helps the folks from Henry Horner to be able to get to their job quicker," Burnett said.
The new station Damen station has not been designed yet, Claffey said.
The Damen station is the third new Chicago CTA station opened since 2011. Similar stations that closed gaps between existing stations were built at Morgan in 2012 and Cermak-McCormick Place in 2015.
Since 2011, more than 40 CTA stations have been rebuilt or received major renovations — more than 30 percent of the CTA system. That total includes station projects at 95th Street and Wilson on the Red Line, and a new "L" station at Washington and Wabash that will serve as a gateway to Millennium Park.