New L station opens in the Loop

By Taylor Hartz | September 9, 2017

Loop commuters will find their trains making a new stop, with the opening of Washington and Wabash. 

The new CTA L station opened on Aug. 31, replacing two-century-old stops, the Madison station, which closed in March 2015, and the Randolph/Wabash station, which saw its last train in the early hours of Sept. 3. Both stations were built more than 120 years ago, and Washington/Wabash is the first new downtown station in 20 years.

Located between Madison and Washington Streets, the station features modern amenities like an elevated platform, LED lighting,  21st-century architecture, security cameras and digital displays. Its design is meant to increase capacity and efficiency while making the station more accessible to all riders with a wider platform, four elevators, and an escalator.

At a grand opening ceremony on Aug. 31, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the new station “represents the best of Chicago’s heritage of architectural innovation and ingenuity while creating modern amenities for the thousands of travelers who utilize it every day.”

Commuter Kerry Davis said the new station is “much more convenient” for her morning commute on the L.

“I used to get off at Randolph and have to walk,” said Davis, but now the Washington and Wabash will keep her from walking through the snow in the winter months.

Construction on the new station began in March 2015, with a total price tag of $75 million. The project was completed using only federal funding, according to Michael Claffey of the Chicago Department of Transportation.

“We have made unprecedented investments to modernize transportation throughout Chicago, and this new station combines that commitment with our city’s culture,” Mayor Emanuel said. 

Entrances to Washington/Wabash will be on the south side of Washington Street about 100 feet north of Madison Street, and on both sides of Wabash Avenue, where elevators will be located between Washington and Madison.

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