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Major renovations planned for Green Line station on Cottage Grove

Crusader staff report

One week after developers broke ground on a sprawling multi-million dollar affordable housing complex in Woodlawn, city officials announced that the Green Line Station across the street will get a major makeover.

On Monday, April 24, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush joined CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. and Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner (CDOT) Rebekah Scheinfeld to announce conceptual plans to revitalize and renovate the CTA’s Cottage Grove Green Line station and the surrounding area.

The project is the latest investment on the Green Line by Mayor Emanuel and CTA, and complements the ongoing commercial and residential developments near the station, including the recently announced new 70-unit, $30 million Woodlawn Station mixed use residential and commercial project next to the station.

“We are investing in the future of the CTA, and in the future of Woodlawn,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Investments like this one strengthen communities, attract private investment and drive neighborhood growth.”

The conceptual plan for Cottage Grove proposes visual, architectural and lighting treatments outside of the station to enhance the experience of both CTA customers and pedestrians. Options under consideration include architectural screening and community identifiers along sidewalks and on the “L” structure. Changes to the station itself could include new canopies and reconfigured stairs.

“I am pleased that the historic CTA Green Line will get the attention it needs and deserves. Even as the Woodlawn community continues to enjoy a revitalization, its hardworking residents are deserving of a station that is attractive, modernized, and safe. I look forward to seeing these plans come to fruition,” said Congressman Rush.

CTA and CDOT are working to develop a full project scope and estimated budget for the project. Details are expected to be finalized later this year.

“As with the Garfield Green Line station and the Belmont Blue Line station, here at Cottage Grove we see an opportunity to create an attractive community gateway that will serve as a hub for Woodlawn,” said CTA President Carter.

Just minutes from the future home of the Obama Presidential Center, the Cottage Grove Green Line station is in the heart of the revitalizing Woodlawn neighborhood – steps from MetroSquash, a recreational and educational center; the Woodlawn Resource Center; a new residence hall for the University of Chicago; five new POAH apartment buildings, the first market-rate apartment development to be built in Woodlawn in decades; new dining options, coffee shops and more.

The Cottage Grove Green Line Station is also included in CDOT’s upcoming federally funded Walk to Transit project to improve pedestrian safety and access to 10 CTA stations throughout Chicago.  CDOT identified the Cottage Grove station for improvement based on crash history, recent neighborhood development, connectivity to other transit options, and neighborhood demand for improved walkability.

“Working with the CTA to improve access to transit is a priority for CDOT,” CDOT Commissioner Scheinfeld said. “We want to encourage people to use the CTA “L,” and we can accomplish this by making it safer and easier for people to get to and from their local CTA station.”

The Cottage Grove station is one of the CTA’s oldest, built in 1893 as part of the city’s first elevated rail line—the South Side CTA “L” that served the World’s Columbian Exposition. The original station was torn down and replaced with the current station in 1991. The station serves more than 1,000 customers on an average weekday, with more than 372,000 riders in 2016.

The Cottage Grove Green Line project is the latest in more than $8 billion of transit investment by Mayor Emanuel and CTA since 2011, including numerous investments on the South Side.

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