Upgrades, improvements, delays: What CTA riders can expect this summer

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This week, WGN’s Sarah Jindra is talking to the region’s top transportation officials about the slowdowns commuters can expect on the roads and rails this summer and beyond.  In Wednesday’s piece, she sits down with CTA President, Dorval Carter, to discuss the big projects impacting CTA riders.

Here’s a look at the major projects to watch for:


95th Street Terminal Improvement Project

The CTA is continuing work this year to reconstruct the 95th Red Line Station. Construction of the south terminal is scheduled to be complete in early 2018 and the north terminal is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.

To accommodate the work, off-peak direction re-routes on the Red Line started in April and will end in this Fall.  There is also a lane closure near 95th St on the Dan Ryan that will stay in place until the Fall.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/95thTerminal/.



Wilson Station Rehabilitation Project

The CTA is currently rehabilitating the Wilson Station in Uptown.  The final phase of work began in March and the project will be complete by the end of the year. Riders will see a new accessible station that will serve as a transfer point for Red and Purple Express trains. Crews are also building a half mile of new track. The station will remain open throughout construction.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/wilson/



Illinois Medical District Station Renovation

The CTA is renovating the IMD Station to improve accessibility and modernize the station. Construction began in September 2016 and will be completed in early 2018. The station will remain open throughout construction, however there will be temporary entrance closures required to facilitate the construction.  The Damen entrance is currently closed.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/imd/.




CTA riders can expect a new station in the Loop at Washington and Wabash this summer. The station will serve Brown, Green, Orange, Pink and Purple lines and become a gateway for Millennium Park and the Loop.  It will replace two 100-year-old stations at Madison and Randolph.  The Madison Station has already been demolished.  Once the new Washington/Wabash station opens, crews will begin taking down the old Randolph Station. The Chicago Department of transportation is managing the project.

 MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/washingtonwabash/.



Quincy Station Improvements

The CTA began accessibility improvements to the Quincy Station in the Loop in April. The project includes the addition of two elevators, while maintaining station’s historic appearance. The station will stay open during construction and the project is scheduled to be done by the end of the year.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/quincy/.



Ravenswood Connector Loop Signal Project

The CTA is continuing work to replace the 40-year-old signal system on the Brown and Purple Express lines between Armitage and Merchandise Mart stations. About 700 trains use this segment in a typical weekday.  When complete, the work will eliminate over two miles of slow zones and allow trains to move more efficiently and safely. It’s expected to be complete at the beginning of 2018.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Archive=y&ArticleId=3455



Belmont Gateway Project (Belmont Blue Line)

Enhancements the street-level entrance to the Belmont Blue Line subway station. Project will improve the bus arrival/departure areas to speed bus boarding and provide a safer, more comfortable environment for pedestrians. Expected to begin later this year.

SERVICE IMPACT: Minimal; station will remain open during construction.

More here: http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Archive=y&ArticleId=3593.


Loop Link

In late 2015, the City of Chicago debuted its “Loop Link” downtown.  It’s comprised of dedicated bus and bicycle lanes to help improve efficiency in the loop. CDOT is managing the construction and will be finishing final aspects of the project this summer, including a pedestrian/bike refuge island on Washington west of Wabash, a bus stop island on Washington east of Wabash and an accessible ramp at the Madison/Wabash platform.

MORE INFORMATION: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/central_loop_busrapidtransit.html


 Red Purple Modernization Program

 RPM will be the largest capital improvement project in CTA history.  It will rebuild the Red Line from Belmont to Howard and the Purple Line from Belmont to Linden.

The first phase of work will rebuild the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Stations and more than a mile of adjacent tracks and track structure.  Crews are expected to start the work in late 2018 and it’s scheduled to take 4-5 years.  The CTA is currently hosting public meetings on the project.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/rpmproject/.


Red Line Extension

The CTA is proposing an extension of the Red Line from 95th Street south to 130th.  Currently, the CTA is moving forward with preliminary engineering and analysis necessary to finalize the alignment of the 5.3 mile rail extension, which would be built either east or west of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.  The proposal also calls for four new stations near 103rd, 111th, Michigan and 130th and the tracks would be elevated from 95th to 119th.

MORE INFORMATION : http://www.transitchicago.com/redeis/.


Green Line Station Work

Garfield Station Rehab- Rehabilitation of the Garfield Green Line station expected to begin in 2018.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/garfieldgateway/.


New Damen Station- Planning is underway for a new CTA station on the Green Line at Damen Avenue. The project is managed by CDOT and the design and engineering work is expected to begin this summer. Construction would start in 2018 and take two years to complete.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?ArticleId=3630.


Cottage Grove Station Rehab-  In April, the CTA announced plans to improve the Cottage Grove Station on the CTA Green Line.  Details of the project are expected to be finalized later this year.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Month=&Year=&Category=2&ArticleId=3649


Your New Blue

The CTA is continuing its Your New Blue program, to improve the O’Hare branch blue line track and 14 stations from Grand to O’Hare.  Eight stations (Damen, Western, California, Addison, Irving Park, Montrose, Harlem, Cumberland) have been renovated since work began in 2014.

Work is expected to begin in 2018 on the Belmont Blue Gateway project that will enhance the street-level entrance to the Belmont Blue Line station and improve bus operations and pedestrian safety at one of CTA’s busiest bus and rail transfer points.  Work will also start in 2018 on the Jefferson Park station upgrades.  Additional station work with start dates pending includes upgrades to Grand, Chicago, Division and Logan Square.

In 2018, work will begin on the O’Hare Blue Line Signal Project to replace the original signal system with a modern one that improves service reliability and safety.   Future work also includes the Dearborn and Kimball subway improvements.  When track and signal work is done, commuters will see an average savings of 10 minutes on the trip between O’Hare and Downtown.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue/




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