Station and Track Upgrades from Grand to O’Hare
Say goodbye to slow zones and outdated stations. Say hello to Your New Blue.
Big improvements are in store for the more than 80,000 daily riders of the CTA’s Blue Line O’Hare branch. Among the benefits of the 4-year, $492-million project:
- Modernized stations to better meet the needs of riders in 2014 and beyond. This means upgrades to stations built in 1895 -- when Grover Cleveland was President of the United States.
- Faster service. This will save passengers 10 minutes between downtown and O’Hare.
- A generally improved experience for Blue Line riders on the O’Hare branch. The project will bring brighter lights, cleaner, drier tunnels and, in some stations, a new elevator, improved entrances and new public artwork for customers and the community to enjoy.
The investment is also expected to generate 1,300 new jobs during construction.
Schedules are being finalized, but the project is expected to begin with track work, followed by station renovations. See here for specific improvements headed for your part of the Blue Line:
As we upgrade the Blue Line, we will do our best to limit inconveniences. Riders will see temporary station closures and small delays during overnights and on weekends. See the latest information on service changes, and sign up for CTA Updates or follow @cta on Twitter to stay up-to-speed on work that might affect your trip.
Service changes & alternatives
The initial track work as part of this project will require 10 temporary, weekend-only closures of small sections of the Blue Line, tentatively scheduled between March and September.
Service Changes & Alternatives
Get more details on our service changes page and sign up for CTA Updates to get weekly planned service changes by e-mail.
Call for artists
In December, we kicked off a search seeking qualifications from artists interested in having their work enhance the public space at the Damen, Western and California stations on the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line. These stations will undergo rehabilitation work as part of the comprehensive Your New Blue project.
Original artwork adds value not only to our stations and their surrounding communities, but also to the overall transit experience for our riders. The CTA already has more than 50 works of art at 41 stations along the Pink, Red and Brown Lines. Expanding CTA’s collection of permanent art is a valuable investment for our system and the neighborhoods they serve.
An additional 11 locations will feature new artwork in the coming years as part of the recently completed Red North 7 and Red Line South Reconstruction projects, and also as part of the upcoming Wilson Station Reconstruction and 95th Street Terminal Improvements projects.
The CTA plans to incorporate public works of art at additional stations undergoing rehabilitation work as part of the Your New Blue project, details of which will be announced at a future date.
Local, national and international artists interested in having their work on public display at the Damen, Western or California stations were invited to apply. Applicants were asked to submit their qualifications and portfolio for consideration per the instructions in the Request for Proposal. Prior public art experience was not a requirement.
The deadline for submissions has passed.
After reviewing all 100 submissions received, the final three artists were selected based on artistic merit, qualifications and professional recognition of the artists, and the artists’ written statements of interest. Contracts were awarded to the selected artists during the February 2014 Chicago Transit Board meeting (more details here).
Public Art Community Meeting
CTA hosted a community meeting regarding this public art project to answer questions from the public and interested artists:
Monday, December 16, 2013
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Haas Park Fieldhouse
2402 N. Washtenaw Avenue
Federal Formula Funds provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will be used to pay for the total project budget for art at all three stations. The comprehensive budget is not to exceed $480,000, which includes costs associated with artist fees, fabrication, shipping/delivery, administrative fees and a project contingency fund.