Your New Blue Track Improvement Work to Affect Weekend Service between the Western and Damen Stations

April 3, 2014

Project will improve speeds and reliability; Customers will be provided free bus shuttles and free transfers back into stations  

This weekend, crews will continue track work associated with the CTA’s $492 million Your New Blue track and station improvement program for the Blue Line O’Hare branch. The track work will provide smoother, more reliable commutes for customers, and will require the temporary suspension of train service this weekend between the Western and Damen stations.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, April 4 until 4 a.m. Monday, April 7, Blue Line trains will not operate between the Western and Damen stations. For customers who need to travel between these two adjacent stations, a free bus shuttle will be provided along with free transfers back into rail stations to resume the remainder of their trips.

The shuttles will run continuously, 24 hours a day and will be able to accommodate all Blue Line passengers. To ensure customers with disabilities have access to rail service, the shuttle buses will serve all stations between the accessible Western and Clark/Lake stations. 

Customers are strongly encouraged to allow 10-15 minutes of extra travel time when using the Blue Line O’Hare branch this weekend.

Some of the work, which will be spread over 10 weekends between March and August, will require temporary street closures near the elevated structure and parking restrictions along the bus shuttle route. For this weekend, North Avenue between Milwaukee and Hoyne will be closed to all through traffic. Westbound #72 North Avenue buses will be detoured and operate via Damen, Division, Western to North Avenue and resume the regular route. Eastbound #72 buses will travel the reverse route.

To help alleviate traffic congestion, signs will be posted that direct motorists to use an alternate route from buses when traveling in the area. The recommended route for westbound motorists is North Avenue, Ashland, Division, Western to North Avenue; eastbound traffic will travel the reverse route.

The track project includes replacing wooden rail ties, tie plates and other track materials on the Milwaukee elevated track structure between the Damen and Logan Square stops—a section of line that opened in 1895 and still sits on the original structure. This work will require eight additional temporary, weekend-only closures of small sections of the Blue Line, tentatively scheduled through August. The next track closure, between Western and Damen, is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Friday, April 11, through 4 a.m. Monday, April 14.

Announced in December 2013, Your New Blue will provide faster, smoother commutes and improved stations along the Blue Line’s O’Hare branch between the Grand and O’Hare stations. Your New Blue is the largest, most comprehensive investment in the Blue Line since the O'Hare branch was extended to the airport from Jefferson Park in 1983-84. More information about the project is available at www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue.

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