Red Line Project: What you need to know about your commute

The headaches are about to start for CTA Red Line riders. This morning kicked off a major construction project that means big delays for those trying to get around the south side of Chicago.

The Red Line is getting a complete overhaul from Cermak to 95th . The project is slated to take 5 months to complete.

Here’s how the work breaks down: Starting at Roosevelt all the Red Line trains will switch over to the Green Line elevated tracks all the way down to Garfield. From there commuters will need to take CTA’s shuttle buses to the stops between 63rd and 95th.  They are trying to give the Red Line commuters some financial incentives with 50 cents off all bus rides up to 63rd, along with free train rides for those getting on at Garfield.

The shuttle buses are scheduled to run from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. south of 63rd for the remainder of the project.

Drivers on the Ryan should anticipate extra congestion due to the extra buses on the road along with intermittent lane closures as heavy equipment is brought in to complete the work on the rails. Crews will replace everything in the Red Line track beds from rails to ties and drainage systems.

Red Line Construction: What You Need To KnowStations are also slated for new canopies, benches and additional lighting to improve safety for riders.

The project is nothing short of a complete makeover of the 40-year-old line, that would take years to complete if work was limited to just weekends. The CTA acknowledges it’s going to be a rough go for commuters, but say it’s worth it to get the work completed faster.

For help plotting your new commute route and for more information, log on to http://www.transitchicago.com/redsouth/

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