In comments on yesterday's post, some readers were wondering why the Red Line south of the Loop would need additional repairs, as reported in the Tribune Monday. After all, didn't the CTA finish a big project on the Dan Ryan branch about five years.
Well, I asked a CTA spokesperson that question. Below is her reply.
The project you are thinking of on the Dan Ryan branch was power delivery and some station work, not track. The proposed track renewal work would replace ballast, ties, rails and the drainage system. It is a slow zone removal/prevention project. Currently more than 20% of the branch is in slow zones.
The previous project was $282.6 million and included power, signal and communication upgrades for more than nine miles of the Red Line from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street, as well as station renovations.
Improving power reliability and the delivery of that power was the most
significant aspects of the project, including construction of two new
substations, upgrades to two other substations and the installation of
new contact rail (3rd rail).
Seven stations along the line, Sox-35th to 87th, received upgrades that
included new flooring, refurbished platform canopies, enhanced lighting,
new Customer Assistance kiosks and improved signs.
Prior to the project, the 95th, 79th and Sox-35th stations were the only
facilities on the branch accessible to customers with disabilities.
During construction, 10 escalators along the branch were replaced and
two new elevators were installed, one each at 47th and 69th, making the
stations newly accessible to customers with disabilities. Altogether,
five stations are now accessible (95th, 79th, Sox-35th, 47th and 69th)
on the branch.
CTA also made enhancements to improve bus connectivity, such as curb
cuts, canopies over station entrances, improved lighting on the approach
to each station and a mid-bridge canopy at 47th Street station.
In November 2003, as a precursor to the project, CTA rehabilitated bus
bridges at 69th and 95th Streets and completed renovations to the
stationhouse at Sox-35th.
With the entire Red Line rehab project completed, CTA has rehabilitated
bus bridges at 69th and 95th Streets, made upgrades at Sox-35th,
improved signal, communications and power substation systems, and
renovated seven Red Line stations.