Tribune photo illustration

Chicago Tribune photo illustration (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune / February 7, 2012)

The CTA will begin work next year to reconstruct the main station house at the Blue Line's Illinois Medical District station and add an elevator and rebuild ramps to the platforms.

The CTA board on Tuesday approved an agreement with the Emanuel administration to use $23 million in city tax-increment financing funds to rehabilitate the 55-year-old station on the Near West Side. All three station entrances – on Ogden Avenue, Damen Avenue and Paulina Street – will be accessible to individuals with disabilities when the project is completed in 2016, officials said.

Other renovations will include brighter lighting, additional security cameras, CTA Bus and Train Tracker displays and repairs to the station platform canopy, officials said.

The station is the closest CTA rail stop to the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Center and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.

The station, which is the third-busiest stop on the Blue Line's Forest Park branch, also serves Malcolm X College and the United Center.

The project's mid-2015 launch was selected because it will take time to finalize the inter-governmental agreement between the CTA and City Hall and to receive City Council approval for using TIF funds made available through the Chicago Neighborhoods Now program, said CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com | Twitter: @jhilkevitch