Stage 2 of Grand Red Line construction: new staircases to open

Stage 1 of the reconstruction of the Gand/State Red Line station has been tough sledding for CDOT. I purposely use “sledding” because weather certainly has had a deleterious impact on the progress. Here’s how CDOT spokesperson Brian Steele sums up Stage 1:

“The first phase has continued about five months longer than anticipated.  However, since we still have more than a year of work left, we don’t yet know how much beyond the original estimated project completion date we’ll be–it’s too soon to tell.
“This is the most complex subway project we’ve undertaken in many years, primarily due to the tight confines of the worksite and the challenges of keeping the station open while work is completed.  We have encountered a few unforseen challenges with underground utility relocation and other construction activities.  The severe winter weather and near-record snowfall also led to many delays.
“We continue to work with our contractor on ways to keep the construction schedule as aggressive as possible. Stage 1 should be completed by late June.”

Stage 2, which will impact the northwest corner, will begin in late June.  The project is scheduled for completion in 2011, not 2010 as originally expected.


The street-level entrance/exit will be located on the NE and SE corners. The station’s street-level entrances/exits on the SW and NW corners will be temporarily closed.

When Stage 2 begins, two new staircases to the north- and southbound platforms will open. The current southbound stair and escalator from mezzanine to platform will be temporarily closed. Both will be renovated/replaced and reopen at the end of Phase 2.
Improvements at platform level are ongoing.  Installation of granite, conduit runs, continuous light tray, structural glazed block (walls), prefabricated ceiling panels are taking place behind barricades.  The work occurs in small areas and behind barricades to help minimize the impact of construction on CTA customers and operations.

As now, CTA train operations remain unaffected.


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  • Looks like it will be pretty nice when it's all done. At least the CTA doesn't have to pay for this one.

  • In reply to chris:

    Chris said:
    At least the CTA doesn't have to pay for this one.

    1. The City owns the subways (goes back when the State Street subway was constructed in the 1940s and operating rights were given to the Chicago Rapid Transit Company, both predating the CTA) and CDOT has done all the station work.

    2. It is not like the CTA pays for any of its capital projects. The feds, Illinois First, TIFs, whatever pay, but it isn't CTA money except perhaps as a grant recipient. The only possible exception is that they haven't disclosed what is the source of payment of the $13.5 million a year tab on the hybrid bus lease. But since Cerberus (the lessor) isn't concerned, I guess we shouldn't be, either.

  • In reply to chris:

    As a daily user of the Grand red line, I am happy they are keeping it open. And the wooden boardwalk down the tracks are fun to walk on. Especially in the evening when that musician sings, "Down on the Boardwalk, we'll be having some fun, down on the boardwalk, boardwalk."

  • In reply to chris:

    So will you be able to go up the stairs to the Rock Bottom Brewery, or will Pete Crowley have to wait longer? {If it is the latter - the upside is 16-oz. pints of "Reconstruction Ale" shall continue to be available for $3.00.}

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