A part of the Your New Blue project
We've recently completed major improvement work on the Milwaukee Blue Line tracks (the elevated tracks near Milwaukee Avenue, between the Logan Square and Damen stops) on the O'Hare Branch of the Blue Line.
This portion of the 'L' runs through parts of Logan Square, Bucktown and Wicker Park.
This work is a part of the larger Your New Blue project, a comprehensive investment in the Blue Line that will provide faster, more comfortable and more reliable commutes on the O'Hare Branch of the Blue Line and in the Kimball and Dearborn subways.
This part of the 'L' was originally built in the late 19th Century as part of a new network of elevated railroad lines from downtown to various parts of the West Side. Service began on this structure in 1895 and has largely been in operation 24 hours per day ever since.
A $20.4 million contract for this project was awarded to contractor Kiewit Infrastructure Co. in August 2013. The work has been eliminating "slow zones" where trains operated at speeds restricted to as low as 15 mph to ensure continued, safe operation.
What work was being done?
Track work included replacement of deteriorated wooden track ties (the pieces of wood between the rails) and other parts of the track atop the structure.
Work began in March 2014 and the final weekend of major construction occurred in August 2014.
What was included in the work?
The work included in this project was:
- Replacement wooden track ties atop the structure
- Replacement tie plates and fasteners
- Replacement of footwalks