Kimball and Francisco Brown Line Stations to Temporarily Close on Friday Evening, September 15

September 14, 2006

The Chicago Transit Authority is reminding CTA customers that beginning at 10 p.m. tomorrow, September 15, the CTA's Kimball and Francisco stations on the Brown Line will temporarily close for renovation as part of the Brown Line capacity expansion project. In addition to the temporary closures of the Kimball and Francisco stations, both the Kedzie and Rockwell stations will close this weekend, September 15 ? 17, at 10 p.m. and re-open for service Monday morning, September 18.

This weekend Brown Line trains will operate from Western station to the Loop. Bus shuttle service will be provided to customers free of charge from Western station to Kimball station starting at 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday as a substitute for rail service. The bus shuttle will make stops at the Western station, Rockwell and Lawrence, Sacramento and Lawrence, Kedzie and Lawrence, Kedzie and Wilson, and at the Kimball station.

The Kedzie and Rockwell stations will close again next weekend starting at 10 p.m. Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24, and re-open in time for service Monday morning, September 25. Bus shuttle service will again be provided to customers over the weekend.

Starting Friday night, the Kimball station will temporarily close for four months, and Francisco will temporarily close for six months. Improvements at both the Kimball and Francisco stations will include new and longer platforms to accommodate berthing eight-car trains instead of the current six-car trains, security cameras, brighter lighting, tactile edging on the platform and an upgraded public address system. At Francisco, the historic station house will be completely rebuilt and the station will be made accessible with the addition of a ramp and a wheelchair accessible turnstile.

"Customers who normally use Kimball or Francisco are encouraged to continue to ride the Brown Line by using the nearby Kedzie and Rockwell stations, or existing bus service near the stations. Both Kimball and Francisco are located in areas where existing CTA service is plentiful," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

"Although temporary closure of these stations will inconvenience some customers, the end result will be improved facilities and service for all of our customers."

Customers who normally board at Francisco may use the newly renovated stations at Kedzie or Rockwell. Customers who normally board at Kimball will appreciate the improvements made to the recently re-opened Kedzie station. There is now an auxiliary entrance on Spaulding Avenue which is approximately one block from the Kimball station.

In addition to nearby rail stations, there are eight existing CTA bus routes that provide service near Francisco: the #11 Lincoln, #49 Western, #49B North Western, #X49 Western Express (weekdays only), #78 Montrose, #81 Lawrence, #82 Kimball/Homan and the #93 California/Dodge (no Sunday service). Four existing CTA bus routes provide service near Kimball: the #78 Montrose, #81 Lawrence, #82 Kimball/Homan and the #93 California/Dodge (no Sunday service).

Throughout the Brown Line construction project, slow zones and single track operation are periodically necessary near construction activity so, as a general rule, we advise rail customers to allow extra travel time. Information on scheduled service impacts will be provided through Customer Alerts in rail stations, on CTA buses and trains, provided to media through press releases and posted on CTA's Brown Line web site at www.ctabrownline.com, as well as CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com.

As part of the $530 million Brown Line Capacity Expansion project 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, stations will be made accessible to customers with disabilities by installing ramps or elevators and accessible turnstiles. The stations themselves will be rebuilt, with wider stairways, additional turnstiles and improved entrances and exits to allow for a better flow of customer traffic. The project is scheduled for completion on December 31, 2009.

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 downtown Chicago Loop.

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