The Chicago Transit Authority announced that on Monday, April 2 the Southport station on the Brown Line will temporarily close for renovation. The Southport station will temporarily close for 12 months while construction crews work to upgrade and extend platforms, rebuild the station house and make the station accessible to customers with disabilities. The adjacent stations ? Paulina and Belmont ? will remain open during the temporary closure of the Southport station so customers may continue to use them to access Brown Line service.
?The Kimball, Kedzie and Rockwell stations have all reopened for service following renovations, and Francisco is next. Construction continues at 12 of the 18 stations included in the project, moving us even closer to the finish line in 2009," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The end result will be improved facilities and service for Brown Line customers."
Improvements to the Southport station will include a new station house, an elevator, a wheelchair accessible turnstile, a longer platform to accommodate 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.
The Southport station is located in an area where existing CTA service is plentiful. In addition to nearby rail stations, there are six existing CTA bus routes that provide service near Southport station on weekdays and weekends, the #9 Ashland, #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick, #22 Clark, #77 Belmont, #152 Addison and the #X9 Ashland Express (weekday service until 7 p.m.).
Signs with the upcoming closure date and information on alternate service for Southport will be posted at the station and on Brown Line trains, as well as at the Paulina and Belmont stations. Information on the temporary closure, available service and overall project is also available on CTA's web site, www.transitchicago.com, or at www.ctabrownline.com.
Work will continue to be scheduled so that no two consecutive stations are closed at the same time on weekdays. Temporary closures are necessary in order to have the type of access needed to extend platforms, make stations accessible, stay within budget and keep the project on schedule.
CTA will continue to provide advance notice and alternate service options for customers as schedules for temporary station closures are finalized. Throughout the Brown Line construction project, slow zones and single track operation are periodically necessary near construction activity so, as a general rule, rail customers should allow extra travel time.
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.
# # #