Renderings Show First Look at Plans for Major Red Line Expansion Project

Big changes could be coming to Chicago's Red Line as an expansion project takes root, aiming to bring new transportation to the city's Far South Side. 

For years, activists have called the Far South Side a "transit desert," citing that the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line ends at 95th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway. New plans would extend that route more than 5 miles south of its current stopping point.

Renderings of what the new route would look like show four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue and 130th Street. The route is a combination of two previously-proposed paths and includes parking and bus connections.

The CTA said it may be necessary to acquire some properties along the route to make such a plan happen. 

The project is estimated to cost more than $2 billion but nothing is finalized yet. Timing is dependent on funding and federal approvals, city officials said, though they noted the earliest the project could begin construction is in 2020. Even then, it could take four years to finish. 

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