Red Line north improvements aim to extend life of CTA stations

Many of the Red Line stations north of Wilson are truly in awful shape, and that doesn’t even include the horrible Wilson station stop. The CTA wants to replace them all under the Red and Purple Modernization Project. But that’s a dream right now at least 10-15 years down the road.

That’s why the CTA is embarking on the Red North Station Interim Improvements project at seven stations: Jarvis, Morse, Granville, Thorndale, Berwyn, Argyle and Lawrence. The $86 million project will include new concrete platforms, lighting, electrical work and furniture at track level; viaduct repairs and track replacement to eliminate leaking into the station houses and retail stores; and refurbished station houses with new doors and windows, floors, turnstiles and finishes. Security cameras also will be upgraded. Kiewit Infrastructure won a $57.4 million contract to do the bulk of the work, with the other $29 million going for design and other preliminary work.

The project also comes at a price for commuters — the seven stations will be shut down for six weeks apiece throughout the rest of the year. No two adjacent stations will be closed simultaneously. Granville is the first station to be closed starting at 11:59 p.m. this Friday, June 1.

Other station closing dates:

Check the individual station links above for details on the work being done at each station.

Also, check out the new CTA Station Watch website, a crowd-sourced info stream for CTA’s North Red Line renovations. You’ll find the latest project news plus Twitter and Facebook feeds with the latest from folks like you.  The site was created by Patrick Barry and the CTA Tattler.

(This post is part of a series on CTA capital improvements. Next: Loop track renewal project.)


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  • Anyone willing to bet that the station rehabs won't be finished in time & that they will go way over budget?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Yes, in fact. I'm willing to take that bet. Whaddya got, Scooter?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I've got a whole bunch of old half fare tokens!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Given that even CTA has project management software, I wouldn't make Scooter's assumptions.

    However, I bet a whole pack of pre-1974 transfers that I no longer have that even if done on time and on budget, Mayor Vanecko or Daley II or some other member of that clan will announce well short of the supposed 10 year service life that the work has to be redone, and there is no money to do it, or the RPM.

  • In reply to jack:

    Darn it, I meant III.

  • There is a lot of conflicting twitter info on the new site.
    #stationCTA, @stationCTA, & @ctastationwatch.

  • In reply to shua123:

    Sorry about the confusion on #stationCTA and @stationCTA. I should have made "station" italic - and just fixed that.

    To get info to post on the site about Morse, for instance, you tweet to @morsecta or #morsecta - either the @ and # hashtag works.

  • In reply to shua123:

    Thanks, shua123, for pointing out the different Twitter usages. Here's the scoop:

    - Our coding wizard Kobe Snyder worked up a filter that captures any reference to (stationname)cta, thus morsecta, loyolacta, etc. It will grab @morsecta or #morsecta, so you can use either one.
    - @ctastationwatch is our Twitter feed. Kevin and I are also tweeting from @ctatattler and @pbchicago.
    - The posts are stored under the station page, too, for posterity.
    - A different tool pulls and sorts posts from

    How's that sound? It's working so far but we'll be watching and apply tweaks as needed.

  • I hear they're going to hire fire eating acrobats as entertainment.

  • In reply to Andy Frye:

    Based on the service interruptions on Monday and Tuesday, they better not get too close to the tracks.

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