Wednesday, May 23, 2018

CTA begins two Blue Line station projects

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CTA begins two Blue Line station projects Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced May 22 the launch of the next two major Blue Line station improvement projects, as part of the $492 million Your New Blue program.



The plan will tackle the Belmont Blue Gateway project and renovate the Jefferson Park Transit Center.

"The modernization of the Belmont and Jefferson Park Transit Centers will not only improve the CTA travel experience for those who live and work on the Northwest Side, but these projects will create architecturally significant and visually appealing stations that enhance the character of their respective neighborhoods," said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. "This project aligns perfectly with our belief that an investment in transit is an investment in the surrounding community."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA also previewed station projects that are set to launch later this year. The Your New Blue program plans to revamp 14 stations along the Blue Line's O'Hare branch.

Officials said the completed work will save commuters up to 10 minutes on a round trip ride between downtown and O'Hare, in addition to installing brighter lights, cleaner, drier tunnels and new elevators at some stations, as well as revamped entrances and original public artwork.

Officials said the city and the CTA are investing $42 million to modernize two of the transit authority's busiest rail-bus transportation hubs.

The Jefferson Park and Belmont Transit Centers are key transit connections for the city's Northwest Side. CTA noted this will be the first time Belmont Blue has undergone major repairs since it debuted nearly five decades ago, while Jefferson Park gets is getting its first major upgrade since 2001.

"The Blue Line is in the midst of its largest modernization since it was extended to O'Hare over four decades ago, and today marks a major milestone in that progress," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "By keeping the CTA moving forward we are keeping Chicago moving forward, creating good-paying jobs and ensuring our future is even brighter than our past."

Upgrades to the Belmont Blue Line terminal will include work totalling $17 million and the addition of a new architectural steel canopy above the terminal, which will create a community gateway for the station, CTA said. In 2017, the station provided nearly 1.8 million rides in 2017.

The $25 million Jefferson Park Transit Center Improvement Project is intended to facilitate a more modern terminal. The CTA said it will bring about a safer, cleaner and more accessible hub while enhancing the streetscape.

Project work at Belmont Blue is scheduled to wrap up in late 2018, and work is set for completion Jefferson Park in mid-2019, officials said.