CTA Brown Line Structure Repairs Require Temporary, Partial Lane Closures of West Ontario Street

July 31, 2019

Project work to extend life of Elevated structure will require two-lane closures in August, impacting motorists using the Ontario feeder ramp to the Kennedy Expressway

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will perform much-needed, life-extending work to its elevated Brown Line structure in August, requiring temporary, partial lane closures of Ontario Street between Orleans and Wells. Project work will require two lane closures for approximately two weeks at a time, impacting local traffic and motorists using the Ontario feeder ramp to the Kennedy Expressway.

The work is part of the CTA’s ongoing renovation of the Ravenswood Connector branch, a two-mile stretch of elevated track between Armitage and the Loop served by the Brown and Purple Express lines, which was constructed in the late 19th century. The lane closures will allow crews to sandblast and paint the steel structure to prolong its useful life for at least 30 years.

In an effort to minimize the inconvenience to motorists, lane closures of Ontario Street will take place in two phases. The first phase of the work will begin Monday, August 5, at 6 a.m. During that first phase, the two lanes on the north side of Ontario will be closed between Orleans and Wells from August 5 – August 19, with no left turns onto Franklin Street. The second phase of the project will require lane closures on the south side of the street from August 20 – August 30. However, with the north side lanes re-opened, a right turn lane will be open as well.

During both phases, motorists can expect delays and should allow extra travel time through this area.

This restoration work on the supporting steel girders between the Superior Street and Ohio Street section of the Ravenswood Connector began in late 2018. Construction crews first began the sandblasting and re-painting of girders along Franklin Street at Superior Street. Throughout this project, CTA has worked with the Chicago Department of Transportation to reduce traffic delays and expedite the work. The CTA’s Chicago Station has remained open to Brown Line and Purple Line Express service, and will continue to be open during the Ontario Street phase as well.

The final phases of this structure restoration project will include work on the girders along Franklin Street, between Ontario and Ohio Street. That work should be completed by late September.

This restoration of steel girders follows the $90 million Ravenswood Connector Rehabilitation Project, which began in 2013 and is nearly complete. To help provide faster, safer and more reliable service along this key segment of the Brown Line, crews have renewed deteriorated rail ties and track components and upgraded the signal system to eliminate more than two miles of slow zones, which restricted the speed at which trains could operate.

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