Stage 1 of the reconstruction of the Gand/State Red Line station has been tough sledding for CDOT. I purposely use "sledding" because weather certainly has had a deleterious impact on the progress. Here's how CDOT spokesperson Brian Steele sums up Stage 1:
"The first phase has continued about five months longer than anticipated. However, since we still have more than a year of work left, we don't yet know how much beyond the original estimated project completion date we'll be--it's too soon to tell.
"This is the most complex subway project we've undertaken in many years, primarily due to the tight confines of the worksite and the challenges of keeping the station open while work is completed. We have encountered a few unforseen challenges with underground utility relocation and other construction activities. The severe winter weather and near-record snowfall also led to many delays.
"We continue to work with our contractor on ways to keep the construction schedule as aggressive as possible. Stage 1 should be completed by late June."
Stage 2, which will impact the northwest corner, will begin in late June. The project is scheduled for completion in 2011, not 2010 as originally expected.
The street-level entrance/exit will be located on the NE and SE corners. The station's street-level entrances/exits on the SW and NW corners will be temporarily closed.
When Stage 2 begins, two new staircases to the north- and southbound platforms will open. The current southbound stair and escalator from mezzanine to platform will be temporarily closed. Both will be renovated/replaced and reopen at the end of Phase 2.
Improvements at platform level are ongoing. Installation of granite, conduit runs, continuous light tray, structural glazed block (walls), prefabricated ceiling panels are taking place behind barricades. The work occurs in small areas and behind barricades to help minimize the impact of construction on CTA customers and operations.
As now, CTA train operations remain unaffected.