First Phase Of Blue Line Reconstruction Announced By CTA

View of Racine platform via Wikipedia

The Chicago Transit Authority has announced the partial reconstruction of the Forest Park Blue Line Branch within the Near West Side. The work will take place in two-phases and span from the LaSalle station in the east to the Illinois Medical District station in the west, eventually future phases will rebuild the entirety of the branch while making it fully accessible. The work is being led by the CTA and will be completed by the fall.

Temporary closure map via CTA

The reconstruction is necessary as most of this branch’s infrastructure dates back to 1958 when it was originally built; lack of maintenance has led to nearly 80-percent of the tracks being considered slow zones. This first portion of the greater plan will replace 15,000-feet or almost three-miles of slow zone tracks; it will also upgrade the traction power system for improved service reliability.

Phase one temporary closure map via CTA

Work will begin on July 23rd and see the closure of trains between LaSalle station and the Illinois Medical District station, thus the Blue Line operating as two separate sections connected by a 24/7 shuttle bus. Part of the work here will end by late August with both the Clinton and UIC-Halsted station reopening, however Racine will remain closed with work continuing through October 7th.

Phase two temporary closure map via CTA

The station will reopen with only its western auxiliary entrance as the main entry is reconstructed to include accessibility upgrades and reopen late-2024, then the auxiliary entrance will be rebuilt in 2025. The $268 million project is just a small part of the greater $3 billion reconstruction, once completed it’ll have rebuilt seven stations and most of the tracks. Future phases still need to secure funding before execution.

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4 Comments on "First Phase Of Blue Line Reconstruction Announced By CTA"

  1. Great to see the city investing in this project. Timeliness and reliability of every line of the L is critical to keeping Chicago dense and vibrant.

  2. At one point, there were plans to reconstruct the Forest Park branch in concert with a rebuild of the Eisenhauer. Does YIMBY know the status of those plans? I don’t believe the rebuild was going to take place east of Oak Park, so maybe it’s irrelevant.

  3. It’s good that the Blue Line, is getting an extreme makeover. However, if they’re going to do stations like Clinton and Racine, they should complete the entire line all the way to Forest Park Station. That’s my opinion!

  4. The CTA says the rest of the Forest Park branch will be done ( upgrade/replace the tracks and make the stations Ada compliant) when they secure funding. I wonder how long that will take…

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