Newly Rehabilitated Damen Blue Line Station Reopened Today

December 22, 2014

Damen, California and Western are among the first of 13 stations receiving significant renovations as part of Mayor Emanuel’s $492 Million Your New Blue Program

CTA President Forrest Claypool today welcomes back CTA Blue Line customers to the newly renovated and modernized Damen Blue Line station, which reopened today. Damen is among the first three of 13 stations that are receiving station improvement work as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $492 million Your New Blue program.

The Your New Blue project is the largest investment in the Blue Line’s O’Hare branch since it opened 30 years ago and is providing faster commutes, more reliable service and a more welcoming environment for Blue Line riders. In addition to rehabilitating 13 stations, Your New Blue includes repairing track infrastructure and upgrading power and signal systems along the O’Hare branch, which serves about 80,000 passengers each weekday. Your New Blue is part of more than $5 billion of transit investment begun under Mayor Emanuel since 2011.

The Damen station was modernized throughout to increase comfort for passengers and historic features of the station, which was built in 1895, were preserved. Earlier this fall, a major renovation of the California station was completed. Improvements to the Western-O’Hare station, which underwent a major rehabilitation in 2001, are expected to be completed in early January. All three stations were built in 1895.

“Just a year ago this month, the Mayor announced the ambitious Your New Blue project to modernize the O’Hare branch. I’m pleased to report that in just one year’s time, we’ve completed major track work that is shaving as much as 10 minutes off of Blue Line commutes and have completed three station renovation projects,” said CTA President Claypool. “We want to thank businesses and residents for their patience during this project, which will benefit the neighborhood for the long term.”

“We appreciate the CTA’s investment in the Damen station and in the community,” said Ald. Joe Moreno. “This station is a vital link for Chicago to the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, which will benefit from a modernized station.”

The more than $13 million of improvements at the historic Damen station, completed on time and on budget, include new architectural lighting, new roofing, improved signage, additional turnstiles and wider gates, refurbished walls, stairs and platforms, new bike racks and a larger stationhouse footprint.

All three stations will receive new, original public artwork scheduled for installation in fall 2015 at California and Western, and next winter at Damen.

The Your New Blue station work follows extensive track upgrades completed last summer between the Damen and Logan Square stations to increase train speeds and improve reliability.

In December 2013, the CTA and Mayor Emanuel announced Your New Blue, the most ambitious service improvement project on the Blue Line that will benefit more than 80,000 customers who use the O’Hare branch each weekday. The O’Hare branch had 25 million rides last year.

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