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Wabash Reopens In The Loop; New 'L' Stop To Open By Labor Day

By David Matthews | July 31, 2017 10:42am | Updated on July 31, 2017 12:18pm
 Wabash Avenue has reopened Downtown in advance of a new
Wabash Avenue has reopened Downtown in advance of a new "L" stop opening at Washington Street.
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DNAinfo/David Matthews

DOWNTOWN — The Loop's new "L" stop is inching closer to opening on Jewelers Row.

Extensive scaffolding that had become a familiar sight on Wabash Avenue during the yearslong construction of the new Washington-Wabash CTA station has come down, transportation officials said Monday morning.

Wabash has reopened with unobstructed sidewalks between Monroe and Washington streets, said Susan Hofer, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Transportation. "Finishing touches" are being put on the new station, which is expected to open by Labor Day.

RELATED: New Washington-Wabash 'L' Stop To Open By Labor Day, City Says

The station, which is projected to be the fifth-busiest in the city once it opens, has been under construction since 2015, closing Loop streets and making the stores along Chicago's historic Jewelers Row less inviting. Some merchants said the station's construction forced them to close up shop on Wabash and move somewhere else. 

Hofer said two more weekend closures on Madison Street at Wabash will be required in August before the new station opens.

The station will serve the Brown, Orange, Purple, Pink and Green lines and replace two century-old stations. 

City Hall said in 2015 that about 13,000 riders would use the stop daily. The station's cost was pegged at $75 million then and is funded by the federal government.

Officials previously said that the station's undulating canopies weave "through the historic Wabash Avenue corridor as a counterpoint to the city grid, and anticipate the soft forms of the park and the lake beyond."

The new stop's design also nods to Jewelers Row with a steel-and-glass skeleton "designed to create a dynamic play of light reminiscent of diamond facets," the city said.

A rendering of the new station. [City of Chicago]

RELATED: Historic Jewelers Row Hit Hard By 'L' Overhaul, Some Shops Forced to Close