As announced on December 20, the Chicago Transit Authority has confirmed the dates for temporary station closures and provided a three-month construction schedule for the capacity expansion project currently underway on the Brown Line. The schedule includes dates for temporary station closures for Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick stations, as well as Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco and Rockwell. The location and dates are subject to change based on weather conditions or other circumstances beyond the control of CTA.
Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco and Rockwell stations will be subject to temporary station closures during the weekday throughout portions of the construction project. These stations are within a half-mile or less of each other and no two adjacent stations will be closed at the same time during weekdays so customers may go to the next closest station for service, or use nearby bus routes.
The Kedzie and Rockwell stations will temporarily close starting February 20 for up to six months. Alternate rail service includes Kimball station, adjacent to Kedzie, and Francisco, located between Kedzie and Rockwell stations, which will remain open to serve Brown Line customers throughout the temporary closure of Kedzie and Rockwell. Customers in close proximity to the Kedzie station are also served by the following CTA bus routes: #78 Montrose, #81 Lawrence, #82 Kimball/Homan and #93 California/Dodge. Customers in close proximity to the Rockwell station are served by the following CTA bus routes: #11 Lincoln, #49 Western, #49B North Western, #X49 Western Express, #78 Montrose and the #81 Lawrence.
Signs informing customers of estimated dates for temporary station closures, existing alternate service and construction details will be posted at each of these stations and on CTA's web site. CTA estimates construction on Kedzie and Rockwell stations will take from 10 to 11 months.
In addition to the temporary weekday closures, Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco and Rockwell will close for up to up to 10 weekends during construction to allow construction crews unlimited access to station platforms. The first two weekends are scheduled for Saturday, February 25 through Sunday, February 26, and Saturday, March 11 through Sunday, March 12. For the duration of these two weekend closures, Brown Line trains will operate between Western Avenue station and the Loop. The Western Avenue station will remain open throughout the course of the construction project.
The Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick stations will remain open on weekdays, but are expected to temporarily close for up to six weekends throughout the course of the project. The Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick stations are scheduled to close for a weekend in early spring to allow construction crews unlimited access to station platforms. Dates will be announced when finalized. CTA estimates construction on the Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick stations will take from 15 to 17 months.
For the duration of the weekend closures, Brown Line trains will operate between Fullerton and Kimball stations. Brown Line trains will not operate south of Fullerton into the Loop on the selected weekends, but will resume normal weekday service. CTA recommends customers use nearby Red Line service to travel to and from the Loop that weekend, or the most convenient existing CTA bus and rail service in the area.
Customers in close proximity to the Brown Line's Chicago Avenue station may use the Red Line's Chicago Avenue station located at Chicago and State. CTA bus routes in the area of the Brown Line's Chicago Avenue station are the #22 Clark, #29 State, #36 Broadway, #65 Grand and the #66 Chicago.
Customers in close proximity to the Sedgwick station may use nearby Red Line service at either the North/Clybourn station or Clark/Division station. CTA bus routes near the Sedgwick station include the #8 Halsted, #22 Clark, #36 Broadway, #70 Division, #72 North Avenue and the #73 Armitage.
Customers in close proximity to the Armitage station may use nearby Red Line service at the Fullerton station or the North/Clybourn station. CTA bus routes near the Armitage station included the #8 Halsted, #72 North Avenue, #73 Armitage and the #74 Fullerton. Signs informing customers of estimated dates for temporary station closures, existing alternate service and construction details will be posted at each of these stations and on CTA's web site.
At the September meeting, Chicago Transit Board members approved a $45.5 million contract for construction to expand capacity and make the Chicago, Armitage and Sedgwick stations accessible, and a $19.9 million contract for construction to expand capacity of the Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell and Western stations, and to make the Kedzie, Francisco and Rockwell stations accessible. Chicago-based FHP Tectonics Corporation was selected as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for both contracts.
The contracts include demolition of existing structures on the property, construction of modern stationhouses, new canopies, fare equipment and a state-of-the-art announcement system.
This purpose of the Brown Line project is to increase capacity and therefore improve service. Currently, during rush hours customers often cannot squeeze into a crowded train and must wait, sometimes for several trains. Platforms will be lengthened to accommodate eight-car trains instead of the six-car trains currently in use which will allow many more customers to board.
In addition to increasing capacity, Brown Line stations will be made accessible to people with disabilities as part of CTA's ongoing commitment to making its system accessible to all customers. Other improvements such as wider stairways, additional entrances and exits, and more turnstiles will ease congestion during busy hours, and upgrades to traction power equipment and the signal system are also included in the project.
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 Merchandise Mart.# # #