Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday helped break ground on the Chicago Transit Authority's new 95th Street terminal, a $240 million project expected to create 700 construction jobs.
"This is the final installment of the modernization of bringing the Red Line South into the 21st century," Emanuel said, "so the residents and the communities and the businesses can join the 21st century, literally, with the jobs and economy that come from this investment."
The terminal may only be 45 years old, but officials say it is not aging well. Case in point: The 20,000 riders who use it every day have to dodge buses on their way to the tracks.
"What worked well in 1969, does not work well in 2014," CTA Chairman Terry Peterson said.
Now the dilapidated structure that spans the Dan Ryan Expressway is in line for an upgrade, which includes a pair of buildings that look more like an airport terminal than a train station.
"There will be demolition starting next week where caissons will go in to build a new South Side terminal," CTA President Forrest Claypool said. "Twenty months later that will be open to the public and then the North Side station will be closed and reconstructed and linked by a skyway-pedway."
The project was unveiled with great political fanfare as the last step in the $500 million renovation of the Red Line's South branch.
Regular riders say the new station, which will accommodate trains, buses and local businesses, is a welcomed improvement.
Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said he hopes most of the new jobs that come with the construction come from the community.
"We have to work hard to make sure we don't get all of the dust and all of the delay but that we get some of the dough also."