Blue Line O’Hare Branch Track Work Will Help Improve Reliability, Service

February 17, 2023

Bus shuttles will replace weekend Blue Line service between Addison and Western to accommodate work to replace 50-year-old track system, starting Feb. 24

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced plans for upcoming project work to replace critical Blue Line track components on the O’Hare branch that will impact weekend service beginning late February through May. The work will help provide better service on one of the highest-ridership branches of the ‘L’ system, and help ensure the branch can meet increasing ridership demand.

Crews will replace the 50-year-old Belmont crossover that was built with the original Kimball Subway portion of the Blue Line in 1970.  Due to deterioration from decades of use, repairs are no longer an option and full replacement of this crossover is necessary.

Photo of the existing track conditions at the Belmont Blue Line crossover that is being replaced as part of upcoming project work.

This crossover is critical track component that allows the CTA to move trains between both sets of track and provides the ability to reroute trains onto or away from a set of tracks to allow for maintenance, while continuing to run service for customers. Performing this work now will help decrease delays to service and decrease the amount of maintenance necessary to keep the current Belmont crossover functioning in a safe and proper manner.

To minimize service disruptions for riders, work will be limited to weekends, starting February 24-27, with up to eight other weekends planned through late-May. Work will be primarily done between the hours of 10 p.m. on Friday nights and 4 a.m. Monday mornings, weather permitting.

The Belmont, Logan Square, and California stations will be closed the weekend of February 24-27. To accommodate customers impacted by project work, bus shuttles will replace Blue Line service and operate between the fully accessible Addison and Western stations on the O’Hare branch. The bus shuttles will serve all the affected stations and connect customers to an open station for access to the Blue Line.

In future weekends, Belmont, Logan Square and California stations may be entirely or partially closed.  During full closures, bus shuttles will be provided to accommodate customers.

Project work will also require the temporary relocation of select bus stops within the project area where crews are staging equipment for project work. Customer alerts are being posted at all affected bus and rail service locations.

Customers are encouraged to plan ahead by checking the alerts on our website for the latest travel information (https://www.transitchicago.com/alerts/) and allowing extra travel time.

Service map outlining impacts of upcoming project work requiring line-cuts along the Blue Line O'Hare branch.



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