CTA adds more slow zone, viaduct work to Red Line north rehab project

CTA Tattler gets plenty of reader email with CTA tips, complaints and questions. The largest percentage of email deals with slow zones.

So I know the CTA's surprise announcement Wednesday of an additional $15 million to be spent on North Red Line slow zone and viaduct repairs is great news for you readers. And it is for me personally since I crawl through two long slow zones in my daily commute.

The CTA board approved extending the scope of the current Red North Station Interim Improvement project to include more slow zone, viaduct and other station structure repairs. From the press release:

Per the terms of the amendment, the existing scope of work will be extended to include:

  • Repairs and replacement of approximately 7,000 feet of deteriorated track and rail at the Lawrence, Granville and Jarvis stations, as well as portions of track between the Berwyn and Thorndale and the Granville and Loyola stations.
  • Waterproofing and track renewal work will also occur between the Loyola and Morse stations.
  • Structural and cosmetic repairs of viaducts at Pratt and Lawrence.
  • Additional station structural, communication and finishing work.

The CTA said this work extension won't alter the current project timeline or completion dates. Crews are now finishing rehab work at the Morse station, which reopen as scheduled at 11:59 p.m. on Friday. Thorndale is the next station to be closed late on Aug. 17. Granville reopened July 13 after a six-week renovation.

“Extending the scope of work will reduce costs by using resources already in place and avoiding future service disruptions by piggybacking on scheduled track closures and reroutes,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “For our customers, this means fewer service disruptions and improved travel times following the removal of approximately 7,000 feet of slow zones.”

Funding for the station rehabilitation project is from the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) and is part of the $1 billion Red Line investment project. The $1 billion capital investment is a combination of state, local and federal funds, which will support other Red Line projects including: track and station renewal along the Dan Ryan branch; the rebuilding of the Clark/Division and Wilson stations; and several other track, substation and station renewal projects along the North Main Line branch.


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  • Long, long overdue, especially between Granville & Loyola.
    While the slow zone map shows this as a 15 MPH section, ride the trains or stand on the sidewalk below & the trains actually move at 5 MPH.

    There's also a supposed 15 MPH slow zone just south of the Garfield Green Line station, but wait on the platform & again, the train approaches at 5 MPH!

  • Ain't that the truth. At Granville, when the canned announcement says "inbound train now arriving" I say "That means about 5 minutes" and I take a seat if I haven't already, and settle in to some reading to pass the time.

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