By Gary Washburn
TRIBUNE TRANSPORTATION WRITER
Date of Publication: May 7, 1994
Source: Chicago Tribune
Green Line riders will get 26 stations when the refurbished rail route reopens in 1996, two more than originally proposed, under a measure approved Friday by the Chicago Transit Authority board.
Heeding the pleas of community leaders and customers, the board agreed to add a stop at Laramie Avenue on the West Side and at 63rd Street and Harvard Avenue on the South Side.
CTA President Robert Belcaster said he hopes to tap a special federal fund earmarked for projects that reduce air pollution to help pay for the 63rd Street facility, where a park-and- ride lot is planned, and he plans to economize at other stations to finance Laramie.
CTA officials do not expect the addition of the two stations to increase the $65 million budgeted for Green Line station rehabilitation and construction.
But the board approved a measure to increase the entire project's $300 million budget by $20 million due largely to the unexpectedly high cost of stripping paint from structural steel on the route and then recoating it.
Officials blamed the unforeseen overrun on stringent new federal regulations governing the removal of hazardous lead-based paint.
More than half of the $20 million will be covered by portions of grants for other CTA projects that proved not to be needed, staff officials said.
Much of the rest will be transferred to the Green Line reconstruction from non-critical projects elsewhere on the system that have been postponed. For example, a planned rehab of the 95th Street station on the Dan Ryan Red Line will be put off, officials said, freeing $2.3 million.
Board members have voiced fear that Green Line budget overruns could siphon money from important projects elsewhere. But staff officials have reassured them that with the possible exception of new signal equipment, all other costs for the rehab are expected to come in at or below estimates.
On another matter, the board approved the discontinuation of four express bus routes between the Southwest Side and downtown and the retention of two others.
All six were to have been phased out after the recent opening of the Orange Line, which connects Midway Airport with the Loop, but requests for continued express bus service from riders who live west of the Orange Line's Midway terminal caused officials to retain the No. 99 Stevenson Express and the No. 164 Narragansett.
Routes slated for elimination, effective July 5, are the No. 61 Archer/Franklin Express; the No. 62 (E) Archer Express; the No. 99M Midway Express; and the No. 162 Pulaski/Stevenson Express.