(Guest post by Patrick Barry via CTA Station Watch)
Weekends are when the work gets done on a railroad that runs 24/7, like the Red Line. With no Purple Express trains running on the outside tracks, the CTA can move both northbound and southbound trains to one side of the platforms to allow crews free reign on the other side.
The west side of the viaduct got the attention this past weekend as crews swarmed both the Jarvis and Morse viaducts to do major work. It was also the first weekend after the re-opening of the Granville station, so it was a good opportunity for me to take a “tour of inspection” and see the latest changes.
Jarvis – A section of viaduct got much more than a facelift starting Friday night and Saturday as Kiewit crews removed both southbound tracks and then jackhammered and cut out an entire section of concrete that was severely deteriorated after 90 years of use. (Read more and see photos at CTA Station Watch.)
Morse – Big teams moved in Thursday and Friday in preparation for another day of platform-building, this time on the west side of the midline. )See photos and more on CTA Station Watch.)
Granville – Trains are once again serving this station’s weekday load of about 4,000 incoming passengers. At platform level, there are many new sections of concrete, all new tactile edging, new lighting and signage, and a repainted canopy. The stationhouse got a similar facelift that includes cleaned-up surfaces, new paint and a non-slip epoxy coating on the floor. Kevin O’Neil gives the facelift a B-minus at CTA Tattler because some elements like wind shelters and storefront rehabs aren’t done. And I saw several areas where the cleanup, finish or caulking wouldn’t earn an A grade. But there’s no question that the station looks cleaner and brighter, as the CTA points out in a photo set on Flickr.
The next thing to watch at all these stations is the quality of work and finish on the attached storefronts, which are getting new tuckpointing, windows and doors along with waterproofing from above at the worst stations. Once complete, the trick will be finding tenants to fill the spaces.