Kimball Brown Line station users got just over a week's notice today that their station will close for nine days beginning July 13 to replace 50-year-old track and rail components.
First, 33rd Ward residents were surprised to get an email Tuesday from their now-retiring Alderman Richard Mell about the sudden closure. Then the CTA issued a news release earlier today. Crews will replace approximately 700 feet of deteriorated ties, rail, ballast, special track components and the power and signaling systems that are in place along the three sets of track that feed into the Kimball station terminals.
“These tracks have been in service since this portion of the Brown Line was extended back in 1963, and repair work is no longer sufficient – everything must be replaced in its entirety,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “This work is essential to ensuring that we provide safe and reliable service to the 1.3 million customers who access Brown Line trains via the Kimball station each year, and we appreciate our customers’ patience during this project.”
The Kimball stations will close at 2 a.m. Saturday, July 13, and reopen for the morning rush service on Monday, July 22. During thtat time, all Brown Line service will start and end from the Kedzie station. The project work also will cause street and sidewalk closures on Kimball Avenue adjacent to the construction site. Pedestrians will need to use the east sidewalk on Kimball between Lawrence and Eastwood. In addition, #82 Kimball buses will be temporarily rerouted to serve the Kedzie station. Northbound #82 buses will operate via Kimball, Montrose, Kedzie to Lawrence and resume the regular route north on Kimball. Southbound #82 buses will travel the reverse route.
The CTA said this work is being performed by Kiewit with a total construction budget of approximately $4.6 million, funded by a 2009 Regional Transportation Authority grant.
The two biggest CTA know-it-alls around here, Jack and Scooter, already have suggested on another thread this work was done in 2007 to 2009 during the Brown Line rehab. But that simply is not true. That project was to extend the length of the platforms to accommodate 8-to-10 cars and to make stations accessible.