Chicago Transit Authority officials today announced that the newly renovated Francisco station on the Brown Line will reopen to rail service at 4 a.m. on Friday, March 9.
"We are pleased to announce that after six months of renovation work, Francisco station will reopen this Friday, nearly a week earlier than promised," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The Kimball, Kedzie and Rockwell stations have all reopened for service following renovations, and the reopening of Francisco for customers moves us closer to the completion of this project."
A major portion of the reconstruction has been completed at Francisco including the complete rebuild of the historic station house and installation of a ramp which now makes the station accessible. With the addition of Francisco, 75 out of 144 CTA rail stations are now accessible to customers with disabilities. Along with a wheelchair accessible turnstile and tactile edging on the platform, additional customer amenities include brighter lighting, windbreaks, security cameras, benches and a new public address system.
Construction crews will continue to work in the weeks ahead to complete construction even after the station opens for service. Additional work includes installing permanent station signs, original artwork, windows and continuing work to build a new auxiliary entrance at Sacramento on the west end of the station.
Francisco is the fourth newly renovated station to reopen as part of the Brown Line capacity expansion project. Kimball station, which also closed with Francisco on September 15, reopened for service in January. In August 2006, the Kedzie and Rockwell stations reopened for service following a six-month temporary closure. The Montrose and Addison stations closed in early December for 12 months and are currently under construction. The Southport station will temporarily close for construction on April 2 for one year.
Work will continue to be scheduled so that no two adjacent stations are closed at the same time on weekdays. Temporary closures are necessary in order to have the type of access needed to extend platforms, make stations accessible, stay within budget and keep the project on schedule.
As the project continues to move forward, CTA remains committed to staying within budget and meeting the completion dates required. The project's Full Funding Grant Agreement with the federal government requires that the CTA complete the project by the end of 2009.
The Brown Line capacity expansion project includes: the rehabilitation of 18 Brown Line stations; lengthening station platforms to accommodate eight rather than six-car trains; provide for station enhancements to meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and upgrade or replace traction power, signal and communication equipment.
Operating between downtown and the Northwest Side, the Brown Line was originally constructed in two phases, opening for service in 1900 and 1907. The line is the third busiest of CTA's rail lines, serving more than 66,000 customers each weekday, with 19 stations from Kimball on the north to the downtown Chicago Loop. # # #