March 3, 2004

Chicago Transit Authority Chairman Carole Brown was in Pilsen last week to attend the regular monthly meeting of the CTA's Blue Line Community Advisory Panel. The Chairman addressed the group and outlined the CTA's aggressive investment in Chicago's neighborhoods, including the ongoing $483 million reconstruction of the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line.

?CTA's capital investment in the communities we serve is an investment in the very foundation of our neighborhoods," Brown said. ?The majority of CTA rail stations are located in neighborhoods. Out of 144 rail stations in the CTA system, 121, or 84 percent, are neighborhood stations. Looking ahead, our five-year capital improvement program includes plans for rehabilitation of 40 of those stations."

In addition, Brown discussed the status of the Cermak (Douglas) rehabilitation project which involves reconstructing eight stations ? 54th/Cermak, Kostner, Pulaski, Central Park, Kedzie, California, Western and Hoyne ? and replacing the track and support structure. The project will be complete within a year.

To date, four of eight stations have been reopened after renovation. The CTA has worked to minimize impact on customers by limiting construction primarily to the weekends. The branch has remained open for service throughout the project through the use of temporary platforms and entrances providing access to the 'L'.

The Blue Line Community Advisory Panel was formed in 2001 to provide ongoing communication with the community, and minimize construction impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the branch.

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