Damen, California CTA Blue Line riders to endure station closures this fall

Blue Line riders will be "California Dreamin' " this fall - dreaming about what the California station will look like on Oct. 16 when it reopens after six weeks of extensive rehab work starting Sept. 4.

Damen riders, on the other hand, will have to do more walking on a winter's day, as their Blue Line station will be closed for nine weeks starting Oct. 20, with the big finish set just days before Christmas on Dec. 22.

(Apologies to the Mamas and Papas.)

That's the latest news on the CTA's Your New Blue rehab front. The Western station is in line for improvements also, but the station underwent a major renovation in 2001 and needs less extensive improvements and repairs, so it will remain open throughout the construction period.

California and Damen will both get extensive stationhouse and platform upgrades and repairs that include structural repairs as well as improved lighting, signage, more turnstiles and new bike racks, according to a news release. Historic features of the stations will be preserved and restored. All three stations will receive new, one-of-a-kind public artwork, to be installed following the completion of the station improvement project. See a complete list of Damen and California improvements.

To help riders affected by station closures, the CTA will add additional #56 Milwaukee bus service during weekday morning and evening rush periods, and add “owl” service during the overnight hours to link the closest stations in either direction of the shuttered station.

Red Line riders endured station closures in the summer and fall of 2012, though no station was closed for more than six weeks. So that nine-week Damen closure will really hurt.  But you know what they say - temporary inconvenience, permanent improvement.
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