CTA faces jam-packed spring, summer with Loop, Red Line construction

The CTA begins “one of its biggest 2012 construction projects” on April 20 with the Loop Track Renewal Project.

Just three weeks later, it will close the Granville station for six weeks to mark the start of the seven-month Red North Station Improvements Project.

That’s a lot of work being done simultaneously.

In the Loop, the project will replace about 11,500 feet of rail:

  • Along the Wells and Van Buren sections of the Loop ‘L’
  • The Tower 18 and Tower 12 junctions at Lake/Wells and Wabash/Van Buren, respectively;
  • Hubbard Curve, just north of the Merchandise Mart station
  • A small portion of elevated track along Wabash between Adams and Van Buren

Most elements in the track bed (rail ties, walkways, etc.) will also be replaced. Portions of track in the above areas will be closed most weekends except the busiest in the summer, including weekend for these events: Taste of Chicago; Lollapalooza; Blues and Jazz Fests; and the Air and Water Show. The $33.8 million project is expected to be complete in Fall 2012.

Meanwhile , on the far North Side of the Red Line, seven stations are set to be closed for six weeks at a time through the end of the year. And portions of track will be shut on some weekends as well.

That’s a lot of people inconvenienced with a lot of construction balls up in the air. I’m not saying these repairs shouldn’t happen. In fact, they must. I’m just saying the CTA and its contractors will be under a lot of pressure and tight deadlines to get this work done on time.

So, good luck with that, folks!


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  • I'm sure that all of this work will done with the same quality as all of the other major CTA reconstruction projects have been done.
    Which means it will last for 7-12 months & then fall apart.
    There won't be any guarantees from the contractors or material suppliers as to how long their work will hold up.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Heck, Matt said the same thing yesterday. chris is going to go all primitive on all of us 3's Kardashian body parts.

  • What I'm wondering is, are the effects of these projects such as to supply plausible excuses for being late when traveling to and from other points on the system?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    CC: I think they are already saying that....

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Yep. The Loop one affects 5 lines. If there is any backup on the Brown or Purple, it affects the Red. Of course, the north Red will be also affected by whatever detours are planned for that project.

    And while CTA says it hasn't determined its plans for the Dan Ryan project, you can rest assured that travel will be disrupted in some way next year. Lots of luck for the people starting or ending their trips south of 95th.

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    As they say, this is construction season. There is just no way to get this work done except when the weather warms up. And with the elevated track systems, they are over 100 years old and badly need the repairs. It has to be done and we grin and bear it. All you can do is give yourself more time than usual to get to where you're going.

  • In reply to Peach:

    I certainly agree with you, Peach.

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