CTA to provide expanded bus service to accommodate customers
The Chicago Transit Authority reminds customers that it will temporarily close the Damen Blue Line station beginning at 1 a.m. Monday, October 20, to begin major renovations as part of the Your New Blue modernization program for the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line. The station is scheduled to re-open December 22.
Originally opened in 1895, the Damen station will undergo substantial improvements to the station house exterior and interior, platform and other station elements. Work includes structural repairs, painting, platform repairs and new finishes, improved lighting, signage, and new bike racks. The station’s historic features will be preserved and restored.
The Damen station work follows the completion of similar, comprehensive improvements nearly completed at the California Blue Line station, which will reopen October 16. The Western O’Hare branch Blue Line station, which underwent a major renovation in 2001, is currently being rehabilitated and will remain open throughout the station improvement work. The Western station work is expected to be completed in December. Future phases of Your New Blue will bring improvements to other Blue Line O’Hare branch stations.
During the temporary closure of the Damen station, customers will be able to access Blue Line trains from the adjacent Division and accessible Western stations. These stations are conveniently served by the #56 Milwaukee bus route, which runs parallel to the Blue Line between Logan Square and downtown. To accommodate customers, the CTA will provide additional #56 service on weekdays and weekends, as well as additional #70 Division service on weekday mornings during rush period. Overnight, customers can connect to Blue Line service via the temporary #N56 Damen Station Owl route, which will have limited operation on Milwaukee Avenue parallel to the O’Hare branch, serving all bus stops between the Western and Division Blue Line stations. Customers are advised to plan ahead and strongly encouraged to allow extra travel time.
During the station project, some temporary, intermittent street closures of North and Damen avenues during overnight hours will be necessary to complete the work because the Damen platform runs above both streets, including platform repairs, installation of light poles and new rails and painting over the streets. The CTA will work closely with the alderman to notify of short-term closures and post signs to notify residents in a timely manner.
The Your New Blue station work follows extensive track upgrades completed last summer between the Damen and Logan Square stations this year to increase train speeds and improve reliability.
In December 2013, the CTA and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Your New Blue, the most ambitious service improvement project on the Blue Line since it was extended to O'Hare Airport in 1984. The program will benefit the more than 80,000 customers who each weekday use stations along the branch, which had 25 million rides last year. Your New Blue will update a total of 13 Blue Line stations, make elevated and subway infrastructure upgrades, track signal improvements and traction power upgrades.