Your New Blue Signal Upgrade Project Enters Final Phase; Reoccurring Weekend Work Will Require Overnight Lane Restrictions on Kennedy Expressway Near O’Hare

January 21, 2022

As part of the ongoing Your New Blue (YNB) O’Hare Branch Signal Upgrade project, which is now entering its final phase, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is alerting travelers to upcoming, reoccurring weekend-only project work that will require overnight lane closures of the Kennedy Expressway (I-190) near O’Hare International Airport, and operation of a shuttle train between the O’Hare and Rosemont Blue Line stations.

As part of this $207 million, multi-year project, CTA crews are replacing a nearly four-decade-old rail signal system, which was installed when the Blue Line was extended by eight miles, from Jefferson Park to O’Hare, in the early 1980s. This project will help improve Blue Line service by allowing CTA to add trains to meet increased demand and will help improve the reliability of service.

To reduce impacts on customers and travelers, and to allow crews to perform work safely and efficiently, major project work will be scheduled for most weekends beginning the weekend of January 28-31 and continuing through late-April. In general, work will begin 10 p.m. each Friday and continue through 4 a.m. the following Monday (see service alerts  for more details). *

During weekend project work, Blue Line service will operate as follows:

  • 4AM until Midnight: A shuttle train will operate back and forth between O’Hare and Rosemont, in addition to regular service continuing to run between Rosemont and Forest Park (via downtown subway). To ride through (beyond the Rosemont station), customers will simply need to change trains across the platform to continue their trip in either direction.

  • Midnight to 4AM: There will be no Blue Line train service from O’Hare to Rosemont. Similar to what is currently done during overnight closures, shuttle buses will run from O’Hare to Rosemont where riders can connect to continuing train service. A shuttle train will operate from Rosemont to O’Hare and will be “exit only.” Trains will begin trips at Rosemont for service toward downtown and Forest Park.

This weekend, some project work will occur resulting in minor travel impacts beginning Sunday night (1/23) and concluding early Monday morning (1/24), please see alert for additional details.

Service on the remainder of the Blue Line between Rosemont and Forest Park will continue to run at all times, including weekends. Blue Line riders should listen for announcements on board trains for further direction and allow for extra travel time. 

In addition, during the overnight hours on weekends, the Kennedy Expressway (I-190) lanes leading to and from O’Hare International Airport may also be reduced to a single lane at times.

The O’Hare Branch Signal Upgrade project is the largest component of the $492 million YNB modernization program to provide faster, smoother and more reliable commutes along the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line – one of the city’s busiest rail lines. To learn more, visit: transitchicago.com/yournewblue/.

*Project work is weather permitting and subject to change. Please see the alerts section of the CTA website for the latest service information.

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