CTA Wilson Station Reconstruction Project is More than 50 Percent Complete; Next Phase of Construction Work Begins

September 27, 2016

Wilson station will remain open throughout project; transformative new station and track structure work will have minimal impact on service during construction

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced that the transformative Wilson Station Reconstruction Project is more than 50 percent complete and that the agency this week begins the third phase of construction. The project will not only create a new, modern and fully accessible Wilson station, but will fully rebuild all track structure next to the station.

Announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012, the $203 million project is completely reconstructing the Wilson station and the station’s more than 100-year-old track structure, creating a new transfer point between the Red and Purple Lines.

“CTA customers who use the Wilson station are already noticing the changes occurring from this remarkable project, which is creating a modern, accessible station in the heart of Chicago’s Uptown that will better serve them and also help generate economic development in the historic neighborhood,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “The construction continues to make great progress, on time and on budget, and is generating good-paying local jobs.”

As part of the new phase, CTA will reconstruct the third of four tracks, the northbound Red Line track, along with related elevated structure that will be rebuilt as part of the project. This phase also includes the demolition of the old station platform and the construction of a new east island platform that will eventually serve northbound (Howard-bound) Red and Purple Lines.

The CTA has completed the reconstruction of two southbound tracks that carry Red and Purple Line Express trains and built a new, modern southbound platform that opened in March 2016.

Red and Purple Line Express service at the Wilson station will continue during Phase Three and the station will continue to remain open. In the morning weekday rush periods only, Red and Purple Line Express trains will continue to share one southbound track, as they have since early 2015.

Customers will see the following improvements and temporary changes for the duration of Phase Three, beginning on September 26:

Red Line

  • Service level, frequency and travel times will remain the same

Purple Line Express

  • Service level, frequency and travel times will remain the same
  • Southbound (Loop-bound) trains will continue to make stops at Wilson and Sheridan during morning rush only

Wilson station

  • The station will remain open.
  • All customers traveling both northbound and southbound will use the new, modern west island platform that opened in March 2016. This island platform offers more shelter from the elements and is longer and wider than the previous platform.
  • The old northbound platform will close permanently. Customers accessing the new platform can now use the existing temporary entrances on the north and south sides of Wilson west of Broadway
  • Customers will no longer use any portion of the old Wilson station. The Gerber entrance and auxiliary entrance and exit (that serve the old platform) south of Wilson will be permanently closed. Customers will now access the station via temporary entrances while the new stationhouse is under construction.

The ongoing construction will occasionally require some temporary street closures and parking restrictions near the elevated structure. The CTA will work to minimize impacts on commuters and the neighborhood as much as possible, and will continue to work closely with local aldermen to finalize details and provide advance notice of impacts to sidewalks, streets and alleys. Phase Three is expected to be completed in early 2017.

The $203 million Wilson project is part of more than $5 billion of transit improvements announced by Mayor Emanuel since taking office in 2011. Projects include building new rail stations and modernizing others, purchasing new buses and rail cars, and continued investments in technology to benefit customers and provide a better commuting experience. It is also one of the largest station projects in CTA history and is the latest in a series of Red Line modernization projects to take place since 2011.

When the project is complete in late 2017, riders will have a modern, spacious and more accessible station that will be a new transfer point for Red and Purple Line Express trains. About 2,200 feet of elevated tracks, signals and supporting infrastructure will also be relocated and reconstructed, eliminating slow zones and improving service reliability for customers, as well as providing a more pleasing street environment along Wilson Avenue and Broadway in the heart of Uptown.

The revitalized station will also benefit the surrounding area by serving as an economic anchor for the historic Uptown neighborhood, stimulating local business and promoting job growth.

For more information about the Wilson project, visit transitchicago.com/wilson.

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