$120 Million Loan Funds Improvements to Chicago Blue Line
The loan will upgrade tracks and stations between the downtown Loop and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a $120 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for major improvements to the Blue Line of CTA's rail service, according to a news release. The upgrade will improve tracks and stations between the downtown Loop and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
"Every Chicagoan knows how important it is to be able to take a convenient, reliable trip on the el to and from O'Hare," said Secretary Foxx. "By upgrading the Blue Line, this project will improve access to 21st century transportation for the entire region. Going forward, we want to bring these opportunities to other parts of the country, working with Congress to develop a long-term funding solution for transit, roads, bridges, and other crucial infrastructure."
Specifically, upgrades to the track, power supply, and signal system along the stretch between the Loop and O'Hare will reduce and eliminate slow zones, creating faster service.
"The Blue Line is critical to the city of Chicago, and the TIFIA loan reduces financing costs to ensure the CTA can complete this project and have a more robust capital plan going forward," said Sylvia Garcia, DOT chief financial officer and assistant secretary for Budget and Programs.