Grand/State construction winds down, giving boarding passengers room to breathe

The rehab of the Grand/State Red Line station on the CTA is nearing completion. A substantially larger mezzanine boarding area opened about two weeks ago. Previously crowds trying to purchase fare cards blocked the entrance to the four or five turnstiles. Now, the number of fare vending machines has doubled, with lots of breathing room between them and the turnstiles.

A new northeast exit open takes you to corner Grand, though in my opinion the width of the hallway should be wider.

Workers are still finishing the elevator on the northwest corner. I like that there also are stairs to the street level on the northwest corner. At Chicago/State on the southwest corner, the elevator to the street is the only egress option. There are no stairs or escalator.

All ads have been removed from walls over subway tracks, and the new lighting has been installed now on the northbound platform. An escalator from the northbound platform to the mezzanine opened last week.

Workers still need to finish the southeast exit, which will feature both an escalator to the street level.

Before the project is complete, I hope signage is improved. The bottom photo of the gallery shows  signage to the north and south platforms may be a little confusing to those not familiar with the station. You see a sign for “Howard” on the same side as the sign pointing to “Trains South.”

Work on the $67 million project is on schedule to be completed in December.


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  • I've demonstrated before that I'm not a photo detective, but it looks like 95-State is in the reflection on the Trains South to side. Since the other side says Trains North to Howard, they balance.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I checked this evening that reflection on the left side is really just a light bulb. So, no sign balance there.

  • At least the words "north" and "south" are used. In many stations, a visitor somehow has to learn that Howard is north and 95th is south before the signage makes any sense. Seems basic to Chicagoans, but wouldn't be to many visitors. Using these key directional terms helps eliminate some confusion.

  • In other news. Hilkevitch has a fairly hard hitting column on the Brown Line platforms falling apart. I clicked thinking that he was just copying the CTA Tattler, but he has a lot more there, including about dumbos at the CTA deciding to use fire retardant rather than wood preservatives. He also indicates that CTA acknowledges the blame is entirely on the CTA, not the contractors.

    Yet, this is just another episode of "business as usual" at the CTA. I'm sure Sam concurs (the wood met spec, according to the CTA), even though Hilkevitch points out that a rehab that was supposed to make the Brown Line "virtually maintenance free" for a time is already costing $500,000 in maintenance..

  • Wow--that looks great!

  • I'll tell you what signs are confusing.
    The upside down line maps at the Fullerton & Belmont stations showing all the stops to Howard, except Fullerton or Belmont is at the top & Howard is at the bottom.
    This is contrary to all mapmaking which a;ways puts "North" at the top & "South" at the bottom.
    It's also contrary to all other CTA maps.

    This upside down map was tried by ESSO way back in the late 1950s to the early 1960s for a map from NYC to Florida. It was a huge flop, people hated it.

    So of course the CTA spends money on maps that previously were failures.
    What else is new.

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    ...and this only took about 2 or 3 years to complete.....amazing!!

  • In reply to Michael:

    Michael, it's actually on schedule despite a three-week strike by union workers and bad weather.

  • Today they re-opened State St. all the way -- no more detours SB for the first time since 2007. There is still a lane closed on Grand but it appears the 36 bus route may not be detouring anymore either.

    They also have painted the tunnel wall and ceiling around the tracks at least on the NB side. Everyday something new. looking forward to completion on this long project.

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