CTA to start Blue Line track work earlier than scheduled

The CTA on Monday announced it was moving up the timetable for work to renovate the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line.

Work will begin the weekend of March 21 to 24 with track work between Western and Logan Square stations and the closure of California station. A free shuttle bus will carry passengers for the weekend. More details from the CTA press release:

The first phase of Your New Blue involves replacing wooden rail ties, tie plates and other track materials on the Milwaukee elevated track structure between the Damen and Logan Square stops—a section of line that opened in 1895 and still sits on the original structure.  That work will require 10 temporary, weekend-only closures (known as line cuts) of small sections of the Blue Line, tentatively scheduled between March and August.

Later in 2014, the CTA will begin rehabilitation projects at the Western, Damen and California rail stations—the latter two of which date back to 1895.  Project schedules are still being finalized for that work.

In all, the four-year $492 million Your New Blue program will upgrade 13 stations, including adding a new elevator at Addison; improve tracks and signals; install new water-management systems and repairs to ensure dry and clean subway stations; and upgrade traction power to improve service and reliability.

Get more information at the project website
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  • And still no replacement of the worn out Granville crossovers!

  • If they really want to improve the Blue Line, why not an elevator at Clinton? Nearest station to Amtrak and Metra, used by dozens or hundreds per day with wheelchairs, strollers and luggage carriers. This should be a no-brainer!

  • In reply to travellinpat:

    The Clinton stop is not within the boundary of where they are doing the work for this project.

  • In reply to chris:

    Also, undoubtedly, CDOT property, as any subway station project has been their responsibility.

  • In reply to chris:

    Modify my above the "downtown" subway.

  • Last Saturday the southbound blue line track at Belmont was completely closed - both southbound and northbound trains were using the northbound track, slowing things down pretty well. There were lots of boards over that south track in the Belmont station. Was that part of all this planned blue line renovation?

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    Actually, now that I think about it, it may have been Logan Square, not Belmont. But it was one of those two underground stops though.

  • I remember back in 2007 when they were doing extensive track work on the Blue Line. I lived in Wicker Park at the time and was commuting to Hoffman Estates via the Blue Line and Pace. The painfully slow trains headed out to O'hare was so brutal I quit my job after three months. I didn't own a car at the time and even still I'm sure it wouldn't have been any better. I will never work out in the burbs again.

  • Since the Blue line is to be single tracked all weekend long starting tonight between La Salle and UIC-Halsted and many daytime weekend trains short turn at UIC to go back to O'Hare, it would seem as though the Blue line contruction season starts tonight. I wouldn't want to be a Blue line weekend rider this year.

  • In reply to JohnT:

    Construction season may have started, but as noted above, not the Milwaukee segment that was the the subject of the post. The Press Release did mention turnarounds, which seems to include past UIC station, but that may be a separate project.

  • In reply to jack:

    I agree with you, however this weekend's single tracking does affect all O'Hare bound trains including those that travel on the Milwaukee segment - in that the single tracking further up the line will impact service with delays and/or bunching. (Unless the current weekend UIC turns end up turning at the "not in use" track at La Salle to go back to O'hare) As far as a separate project, this weekend's single tracking is to accomodate IDOT's Circle Interchange(Morgan bridge) project on I-290 - so it's not even a CTA project. My point is that although it may or may not be as severe as track cuts starting March 21, this weekend's (non-CTA) project is already starting to affect weekend Blue line riders, mostly during daytime hours when more trains are scheduled to fit both directions on the single track.

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