Kimball Brown Line station to close this month for 9 days of track, rail repairs

Kimball Brown Line station to close this month for 9 days of track, rail repairs
Kimball Brown Line station. (Photo by LISC Chicago)

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.

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  • 1. I suggested or implied.

    2. If it is not true, why doesn't someone at the $654K/year Communications Department tell us exactly what was and wasn't done in 2007? Like the 2005-2007 Dan Ryan job, was half a billion dollars spent for nothing? We have since been told that the wood platforms installed then were defective, the tracks and substations south of Armitage need to be replaced, and now this. At that time, they claimed to do substations and at least structure work.

    3. So, Brown Liners, you had those disruptions, the two bridge shutdowns (probably unavoidable) and this.

  • In reply to jack:

    I don't need to the CTA communications department to tell me anything because I was here reporting exactly what was done in the Brown Line rehab. And it wasn't track work.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    1. So give us a detailed dollar accounting of where the $500 million went. Platforms (including rotten wood ones), substations, the whole shebang. Line items, please.

    2.CTA went through the same B.S. with regard to the $250 million worth on the Dan Ryan in 2005-7, which, if we believe the current press release, was all torn out, both 2 weeks ago and yesterday, as well as the "we fixed the north Red Line, except the slow zones are all still there because we didn't do the crossovers." You reported that one.

    3. You were the one who first used the term Sisyphus. Maybe you can explain where all the money went despite your characterization.

  • In reply to jack:

    No Jack, I am not taking the bait. If you're so curious, look it up yourself.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    No, I'm not taking the bait either.

    CTA isn't posting the audit. That's its responsibility.

    All I am saying is with the billions of dollars they claimed to have spent in the past 10 years, they haven't fixed a darn thing. And I am willing to take a bet that this Dan Ryan job doesn't last 10 years, either.

    Crain's exposed the Block 37 folly.

    So, in conclusion:

    1. If you feel compelled to bolster the CTA PR machine, at least get them to pay you what they paid other bloggers. One, who Scooter cited, gets $102K. Another who spearheaded a site to get our taxes increased got a job paying $72,000. Coincidence?

    2. I was decried for saying that the rapid transit system would be rendered inoperable, but how many 9 day interruptions in service are Brown Line riders going to tolerate while Homer Simpson does a half-@zzed job on it? As I pointed out, my main question to PR is how many billions is it going to take to get the 113 year old line into a state of good repair? Do they have an answer, or is it going to be the interminable millions down the toilet?

  • I never suggested it was done a few years ago, I said it was done when the station was torn down & rebuilt to its current configuration, which was 1974, 40 years ago!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    OK Scooter, so now you're saying that because it's 40 years old, not 50, it shouldn't be replaced? Listen to yourself!

    And where's your citation that the work was done 40 years ago, not 50? You actually give a cite below from chicago-l.org that contradicts your 40-year statement.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Again, your misconstruing what I wrote.
    Kimball was torn down & rebuilt in 1974, which is 39 years ago. The crossovers were replaced in 1963, but the CTA insists that nothing was done since then to Kimball, which is impossible since the tracks at the platforms were moved to the configuration of the newly rebuilt platforms.

    And I said Claypool flat out lied about "this portion of the Brown Line was extended back in 1963", when in fact, the Kimball station that was torn down in 1974, was built in 1907!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So how do you "extend" in 1963, what was built in 1907?

  • Here's yet another lie from Claypool & the CTA!
    Claypool said “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,”

    Wrong!
    Kimball was opened in 1907. No extension in 1963.
    What was done in 1963 was:
    "In 1963, the CTA rebuilt the interlocked crossovers at the entrance to Kimball station. The old mechanical interlocking plant was replaced with an all-electric interlocking machine, which was placed in service on September 2, 1963."
    http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/kimball.html

    OK, so the crossovers are worn out, say that, the truth!

    When will you & the local media realize the CTA lies & lies & lies & then lies about the lies?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    They get paid well for doing it, though.

  • If the CTA wants to fix something, they need to head over to Wilson Red line, the wooden platforms there are in terrible condition, especially on the ends where there is no canopy and the rain hits the platform. I was walking on the ends of the platform and you can feel the wood buckling under your feet like it's getting ready to snap. (rotted) They have been putting cones out and yellow caution tape, doing spot repairs, but really the whole deck is dangerous. About a year ago I spotted a missing plank that did break off there, so be careful riders at Wilson.

  • In reply to Bushunter:

    Your wish is CTA's command:

    http://www.transitchicago.com/wilson/
    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130503/uptown/wilson-red-line-station-renovation-cta-seeks-contractor-for-203m-project

  • In reply to bms2535:

    I think Bushunter is more concerned about tripping there in the next 3 years.

  • Maybe they should just rope off the ends altogether, before someone does a swan dive, but I'm not their insurance agent. More business for Jack I guess.

  • In reply to Bushunter:

    The CTA is self insured to $1 million, then insurance takes over up to $35 million & then the CTA has to pay out anything over $35 million.
    Presumably this is for each single incident.
    So if someone trips & is injured at Wilson, it would be less than a million & no insurance coverage applies.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Well I was more concerned someone would fall through broken rotted wood to their death. Tripping is not my concern. I didn't say the boards were warped, I said they were weak.

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    Why do you think they waited until the last minute to release this? Usually, repairs are announced far in advance. I wonder if "something suddenly broke," but then, why wait an extra week to start.

    Anyway, I'm glad it's being repaired.

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