"After 100 years, it's time for facelift" - Mayor touts CTA north Red Line repairs

(Guest post for CTA Tattler by Patrick Barry.)

CTA leaders and a dozen elected officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Patrick Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, lined up behind the Red North Interim Station Improvements project on Friday in Rogers Park.

The seven-station project will total $86 million  that CTA will spend on track and station work in a contract with Kiewit Infrastructure Company.

The facelifts will include new concrete platforms, lighting, electrical work and furniture at track level; viaduct repairs and track replacement to eliminate leaking into the stationhouses and retail stores; and refurbished stationhouses with new doors and windows, floors, turnstiles and finishes.  Security cameras will also be upgraded, said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“After 100 years, it’s time for a facelift for these stations,” said Emanuel, noting that the project is just part of a $1 billion commitment to renewal on the Red Line that will support 4,700 jobs over the next three years.

CTA President Forrest Claypool said the seven North Side stations were chosen for first-phase work because they are “the worst on the CTA system.” The Granville station will be the first to close, on June 1, for six weeks. The last closure, Jarvis, is scheduled for Nov. 9. At some points more than one station will be closed, but no two adjacent will close at the same time.

“With any kind of progress you’ll have some kind of pain,” Claypool said, “but we will try to minimize it.”

Emanuel said the second phase of the project will include work on the Addison, Loyola, Wilson, Sheridan and Bryn Mawr stations.

Read details on work and closure times for each station at the CTA’s website.

The press conference took place steps from the Morse station at Mayne Stage, with 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore presiding."


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  • Save money.
    Tear down Jarvis & leave it that way.
    Howard is far too close for Jarvis to exist, especially when the stations on the Orange & Dan Ryan are so far apart.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The North Red Line is fundamentally different than the Orange and Dan Ryan Red lines. It threads through densely populated residential neighborhoods that produce big streams of pedestrian traffic to the stations. The Orange and Dan Ryan stations, in contrast, are islands in most cases, isolated from housing by the highway, rail viaducts and auto-centric shopping centers.

    Yes, Jarvis has low ridership compared to other Red Line stations, at 1,500 boardings a day, but that is more than many stations on the Purple, Green and Pink lines. If you close that station you lose some riders and make Howard and Morse more crowded, just to save 90 seconds on the ride.

  • In reply to PatrickBarry:

    Your "more densly populated" comment distinguishes my prior one on why there doesn't need to be a station each three blocks on the other lines.

    Nonetheless, the locations of the stations on the North Red seems to be more historical accident. Considering such things as bus transfers (which were not considered by the Milwaukee Road when it built the thing), most of the stations are misplaced.

    Scooter is right about Jarvis, despite the fake consternation Joe Moore created last year by indicating that the RPM proposal then on the table would result in the fairly immediate closure of Jarvis, so as to get turnout at the community workshop.

    Nontheless nonetheless, if the viewpoint actually is that this $86 million project is just a stop gap to be ripped out in 10 years for the RPM, it doesn't make much difference one way or the other--except that I don't believe that will occur.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Well, if Jarvis's ridership is the cutoff for usefulness or "worthiness" of an L station, then:

    * the entire Purple Line should be shut down. The only Purple station with ridership above Jarvis's is Davis Street, and that's right next to a Metra station.

    * the Pink Line should terminate at 18th Street. The only station west/south of 18th with ridership above Jarvis is the 54th/Cermak terminal, and surely a whole line shouldn't be run for one station.

    *ditto the Green Line south of 35th Street. The only station south of 35th with ridership above Jarvis is the 63rd/Ashland terminal, and again a whole line surely shouldn't be run for one station.

    What, you say?The problem with Jarvis isn't its ridership but how close it is to Howard? Silly me, I was under the impression that the purpose of L stations is its riders. If proximity was a damning factor, all of the downtown L and subway stations on or within the Loop should be consolidated into one grand station.

    (I used the ridership data from https://data.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/CTA-Ridership-L-Station-Entries-Daily-Totals/5neh-572f by using the last date available, which was 2/29/12)

  • In reply to jbredin:

    The purpose of RAPID TRANSIT is RAPID TRANSIT. If people can't walk a block and a half, take the bus. Not even the buses have that short of a stopping pattern any more.

    There might be a debate whether the Pink and Green Lines were worth rehabbing based on passenger counts, but that happened.

    Now, if you are suggesting that CTA get the bleep out of Evanston and replace the Purple Line with a Pace 217 bus, fine, but Claypool isn't suggesting that. Fixing the bridges also precludes that for another 40 years.

  • In reply to jack:

    I've taken a number of buses in the Northern Chicago, Skokie, and Evanston areas, and I disagree with your comment that "Not even the buses have that short of a stopping pattern any more." Most of them stop nearly every block (and I always wonder, can't people walk that extra 1/2 block....).

  • In reply to RBerlove:

    I guess you missed the "posted stops only" announcements on 250 and 270.

    Enough said.

  • Other than the at grade stations on the Brown Line, only on the North Side Red are stations so close together.
    As for densities, there's even higher densities south of the embankment stations, but over the years, either the CTA or its predecessor, Chicago Rapid Transit closed many stations. Buena, Grace & Clark were all closed as were 8 more stations that existed prior to the subway opening in 1943.
    There are a lot more changes needed to the Far North Side L stations.
    Thorndale should close with a south entrance to Granville added. This has been discussed before by the CTA & would add a one block walk to get there.
    Berwyn & Argyle should be combined into a Foster station & close Lawrence forever. When Wilson is rebuilt, add a north entrance at Leland to cover that.

    The only reason Moore wants Jarvis to remain is that it's next to his office, not that he uses it.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The first line should have read : Outside of the Loop, only the at grade stations on the Brown Line are stations so close together as the North Side Red.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Definitely agree with closing Jarvis, combining Argyle and Berwyn. However if you're removing Lawrence, you have to be able to handle the capacities that it has with the new entrance/exit. There are big concert crowds that need to be accounted for, plus the Uptown Theater has the potential to add to this station's use in the future, if it ever reopens.

  • I haven't been in the Addison station recently, but isn't it fairly new?

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Addison is 18 years old & gets really heavy use six months of the year from some really drunk idiots.
    I'm sure the drunks cause a lot of damage.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    I'm not sure what work they'd do to the Addison station either. The concrete platforms are in good shape. The station house seems pretty good as well. Perhaps they will change the configuration or improve escalators, but it doesn't seem like a lot work to do here other than a paint job and replace some windows. Especially in comparison to the rest of the stops lists. Also, they should get the Cubs to pitch in here, maybe sell the naming rights of the stop.

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