June 17, 2002

The $482.6 million Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line Rehabilitation Project took another step forward Monday with the opening of a temporary station just west of Pulaski. The temporary facility will be for customers of both the Pulaski and Kildare stations while both undergo reconstruction, and will have entrances west of Pulaski (4000 West) and east of Keeler (4200 West).

Work on the entire project, which began last September, is proceeding on time and on budget. To date more than 400 caissons, or foundations for the support columns, have been completed, and 300 columns have been poured. Other completed work includes the replacement of 62 spans of steel elevated structure and 90 percent of the foundation for the new 54th/Cermak station.

When the rebuilt station at Pulaski is completed, it will be in approximately the same location as the existing facility, with the entrance on the east side of Pulaski just north of 21st Street. There will be a secondary stairway exit at the east end of the platform near Harding (3932 West).

In addition to stairways, the station will have an elevator for ADA accessibility and an escalator. Platform canopies and windbreaks with overhead heaters will protect customers waiting for trains in inclement weather. The station house will have quarry tile at the base and glass wall openings. There will also be a customer assistant kiosk and seats for customers waiting for buses, which will use a turnaround adjacent to the station.

?Blue Line customers are going to find the reconstructed stations well worth waiting for," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Yesterday, the station at Pulaski reached 100 years of service, and the structure holding it up has clearly shown its age. When the rehabilitation of the Cermak branch is complete, we?ll be able to run trains much faster and provide real rapid transit for our Blue Line customers."

The reconstructed station that will serve Kostner (4400 West) and Kildare (4300 West) is at street level and will have its main entrance at Kostner, which is a through street exactly half way between Pulaski and Cicero. The Kostner entrance will have a ramp for ADA accessibility, while a reversible high-barrier gate will allow customers with fare cards to enter at Kildare. Canopies will provide protection for waiting customers at both ends of the station, which will also have windbreaks with overhead heaters for cold-weather comfort.

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