Tenth Newly Constructed Station in Brown Line Expansion Project
CTA President Ron Huberman announced today that the major construction work is complete at the Armitage Brown Line station and that the newly renovated station opened to customers on Thursday.
The Armitage station, the 10th station out of 18 renovated as part of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion project, is newly accessible with the addition of two new elevators. With the opening of Armitage, 80 out of 144 CTA rail stations are now accessible.
"The new station now provides the space and amenities needed for the growing demand for service in the community," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "In keeping with the community it serves, the exterior of the station was preserved. The interior has all of the modern amenities within the historic appearance."
Construction crews will continue to work in the weeks ahead to complete finishing work while the station is open for service. Additional work includes removing the temporary station, landscaping and adding rotogates to the auxiliary exits at platform level.
Major improvements to Armitage include restoration of the original brick and terracotta on the station's exterior, longer platforms to accommodate eight-car trains, elevators and accessible turnstiles, wider stairways to improve platform access, more turnstiles to ease congestion, and additional exits and entrances to improve the flow of customer traffic.
The Armitage station features an original glass and ceramic tile mural on the north wall inside the stationhouse created by local artist Jonathan Gitelson. The piece, entitled Chicago "El" Stories, is comprised of 45 photographs depicting memories of Chicago that have shaped the lives of customers who use the Brown Line Armitage station. Tile grout lines simulate a street map of the surrounding community.
Earlier this year CTA adjusted construction plans and began operating eight-car Brown Line trains during rush hours, a full 18 months earlier than originally planned. Longer trains have helped to ease congestion while southbound three-track operation is underway at the Belmont and Fullerton stations.
In addition, last month CTA announced that construction work to realign the tracks at the Belmont and Fullerton would be accelerated, allowing crews to restore the southbound track to service by the end of 2008. Completing three-track operation earlier will reduce CTA's operating costs and restore normal service.
Armitage station remained open to rail customers during weekdays and closed on only two weekends during construction. During this time, customers had the option of boarding at the adjacent Fullerton station, taking a free bus shuttle or using alternate transportation on five CTA bus routes near Armitage.
Work has been completed at Kimball, Kedzie, Rockwell, Francisco, Western, Sedgwick, Montrose, Addison, Southport and Armitage. A temporary station is open at Diversey and work continues at other stations.
The Brown Line is the third busiest line in the CTA rail system. Annual ridership in 2007 at Armitage was more than one million. In November 2006, the last full month of ridership before construction began, average weekday ridership at Armitage station was 3,757. Between 1979 and 2005, annual Brown Line ridership increased by 85 percent.
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