"Your New Blue" improvements start in March

Date: 
02/27/2014
DamenPltfrm

CTA rendering of the Damen platform

Named Your New Blue, the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Blue Line O'Hare branch $492 million project is to take four years, beginning with work starting in March. A community meeting will be held in the Logan Square Library, 3030 W. Fullerton, on Thurs., Mar. 6, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting includes both Aldermen, 32nd Ward Scott Waguespack and 1st Ward Proco "Joe" Moreno as well as CTA representatives.

DamenSta

CTA rendering of the Damen Station

The three major project achievements are to:

  • Modernized stations to better by upgrading stations built in 1895 -- when Grover Cleveland was President of the United States
  • Faster service which will save passengers 10 minutes between downtown and O’Hare
  • An improved experience will include brighter lights, cleaner, drier tunnels and, in some stations, a new elevator, improved entrances and new public artwork

With improvements scheduled along the 12.5 mile stretch from Grand Ave. to O"Hare stations, each station and the track and infrastructure improvements are detailed in the links below: 

GrandAve

CTA rendering of the Grand Ave. station

Between March and August, the CTA is planning on temporarily closing small sections 10 times on weekends. Western and Logan Square will account for 7 weekends and Damen and Western 3. They will occur from 10 p.m. on Friday night thru 4 a.m. on the following Monday morning (with normal service resuming before the Monday morning rush). The closings will be:

  • Friday, March 21 (Logan Square–Western)
  • Friday, April 4 (Western–Damen)
  • Friday, April 11 (Western–Damen)
  • Friday, April 25 (Western–Damen)
  • Friday, May 9 (Logan Square–Western)
  • Friday, May 30 (Logan Square–Western)
  • Friday, June 6 (Logan Square–Western)
  • Friday, June 20 (Logan Square–Western)
  • Friday, July 25 (Logan Square–Western)
  • Friday, August 8 (Logan Square–Western)

During these temporary closures, CTA will provide free shuttle buses for Blue Line riders, as well as free transfers back into 'L' stations where continuing service is available. The shuttle buses will run continuously and will be able to accommodate all Blue Line passengers at all affected stations. 

Some of the weekend work will also require some temporary street closures and parking restrictions near the elevated structure. According to the CTA they are working closely with local aldermen to finalize details. 

Ridership on the O’Hare Branch has grown rapidly, with more than 25 million station entries in 2012, says the CTA. Weekday ridership has grown 25% over the past five years, and 33% over the past 10 years.  Annual ridership on the O’Hare Branch increased by 6.3 million rides over the past 10 years, the second highest for any branch after Red North Main, the section of the Red Line north of Belmont, which added 7 million rides annually during that period. 

Funding for Your New Blue is being provided by a variety of local, state and federal sources, including $86 million from Governor Pat Quinn’s Jump Start program.

Related:

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