In an effort to improve its elevated rail system service, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is managing the design and construction of a new elevated Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) station at the intersection of Washington Street and Wabash Avenue in the Loop. The Washington/Wabash Station is designed to become a gateway for Millennium Park and the Loop, and combines the nearby century-old stations on Wabash Avenue at Randolph Street and Madison Street.
The new station will be located between Madison and Washington Streets and will serve the Brown, Orange, Pink, and Purple ‘L’ lines. It will feature public escalators and elevators to improve accessibility and will contemporize the Wabash Loop corridor with an array of unique architectural features. Dual, undulating glass canopies add an element of beautification, a functional design choice that aims to curb the presence of pigeons – a common problem among existing stations.
The Washington/Wabash station has an estimated construction cost of $75 million and is projected to serve as the fifth busiest CTA station in the City of Chicago. The station is funded entirely by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. Milhouse is coordinating all underground utilities associated with the project. The work includes collaboration with the Office of Underground Communication, CDOT, the Chicago Department of Water Management, and a host of private utility companies. Milhouse is working with public and private utility facility owners to identify conflicts with the proposed station’s structural elements.
Additionally, Milhouse is leading the design and/or coordination of the necessary service re-routes. Milhouse is also responsible for the design of the underground component of the proposed utilities serving the station, including water, sanitary systems, and roof drains. Additional scope items include designing the ground level site improvements associated with the new station. The improvements include, but are not limited to, design of a narrowed pavement width along Wabash Avenue to accommodate proposed sidewalks and escalators; pavement surface course removal and replacement; and drainage structure modifications. The goal of these improvements is to expand usable “people space” and create a more open, traversable public space.
In addition, Milhouse is responsible for the ground level and underground utility phasing for the project. Milhouse is developing a phased underground utility construction design to allow the majority of private utility relocations to occur prior to the project’s start. This phased approach will help alleviate potential
coordination and scheduling issues between the City’s contractor and the private utilities’ contractor. The project includes significant coordination with project stakeholders, including CDOT, the Alderman, and business owners in the Jewelers Row area to ensure that disruptions to existing operations are minimized. Milhouse is also preparing a maintenance of traffic plan to divert traffic around the proposed work areas during each phase.
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