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The Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) board has amended its five-year capital budget to include an additional $75 million for Red Line extension project.The additional dollars will allow the agency to advance the preliminary engineering and analysis needed to finalize the project alignment and complete a final environmental impact statement, CTA officials said in a press release.The engineering work also is required for the agency to apply for more than $1 billion in federal funds to support the $2.3 billion project.The $75 million amendment will be funded by CTA bonds, agency officials said.The 5.3-mile rail extension would include four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue and 130th Street on Chicago's south side. Each station would include bus and parking facilities. "The Red Line Extension project is a transformational project to expand transit to Chicago's southern border and create faster access to jobs, education and opportunity," said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. In 2017, the CTA expects to begin procurement for further environmental planning and engineering work. The agency last month released a draft environmental impact statement for the Red Line extension.Meanwhile, the agency earlier this week announced it finished renovating five O'Hare branch Blue Line stations.The $43 million station modernization effort is the second phase of the $492 million "Your New Blue" project, which calls for upgrading track and stations on the O'Hare branch.The agency has now renovated the Addison, Irving Park, Montrose, Harlem and Cumberland stations. The upgrades include installing an elevator at the Addison Station, as well as improving the platform and canopies at the Irving Park and Montrose stations.
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