Project Description

Washington/Wabash CTA

Cermak Station
Previous Waukegan Steel Project

Over the years, Waukegan Steel has been contracted by The Illinois Department of Transportation to deliver work on a variety of different projects such as Chicago’s CTA stations on Cermak, California, Washington, and Damen Avenue. Our excellent track record provided IDOT with the confidence – yet again – to bring us into a particularly complicated project.

The Washington/Wabash CTA station is a major improvement to the tune of $75 million which will serve as a gateway for the Loop and Millennium Park. The design and construction, designed by IDOT, and funded by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds will serve the Orange, Green, Purple, Brown, and Pink train lines. Combining the hundred-year-old stations on Wabash at Madison and Randolph, Waukegan Steel is part of delivering a tall order to the City of Chicago.

An alluring and completely modern design, The Chicago Transit Authority describes how “the undulating wave form of the canopies weaves through the historic Wabash Avenue corridor as a counterpoint to the city grid, and anticipates the soft forms of the park and the lake beyond. The faceted skeletal steel and glass structure is designed to create a dynamic play of light reminiscent of diamond facets and the historic Jeweler’s Row.” (full article here:

Waukegan Steel was likely chosen above other companies because of their expertise in projects requiring complex geometry and on-of-a-kind architecture. A good illustration of this is the Cermak station, in which Waukegan Steek fabricated “worm” steel frames (round pipes) which provided a final product that could easily be labeled as a piece of art.

According to the CTA, materials were chosen “to allow visibility, reinforce the feeling of openness and to allow a visual connection to the historical corridor.” Waukegan Steel utilized custom made shapes in the form of “pipe and plate,” to create eliptical columns made of plate (1.5 inches) – also referred to as “smashed pipe.” Another great feature of the new Washington/Wabash station will be the wide variety of sustainable elements that are being incorpporated in the design, such as 100% LED lighting, reuse of existing structure and tracks, bicycle racks, and other recycled material mixed into the project.