The CTA next spring will begin a $20.4 million project to repair slow zones on the O'Hare Blue Line between the Damen and Logan Square stations.
Last week the board approved the contract with Kiewit Infrastructure Inc., the same firm that completed the Red Line north interim station improvement project and the track work of the Red Line south reconstruction project. In addition to replacing deteriorated wooden rail ties along the elevated structure, project work will also entail the replacement of tie plates, fasteners and footwalks, the CTA said in a news release.
The project work is expected to be completed by fall of 2014. The CTA said it will make "every effort" to minimize impacts to customers, including scheduling work that will impact service to overnight or weekends only.
Due to current slow zones, train operate from O'Hare to the Loop at speeds between 15 and 35 miles per hour. Previous track inspections that found that the wooden rail ties were in poor condition and in need of replacement in the targeted area.
Between 2007 and 2009, CTA completed two projects that targeted slow zones affecting service between the O’Hare and Addison stations and the stretch of track north of Division to south of Clinton in the Dearborn subway. So it will be good to tackle this annoyingly slow stretch between Damen and Logan Square.
Funding for this project is a combination of sources, but is primarily funded with grants from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the TIGER III program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), which is a federal grant program designed to improve transportation infrastructure.