Friday, September 11, 2009

CTA opens Fullerton entrance, continues Blue Line subway work

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Although construction work continues, on Saturday afternoon, September 12, CTA customers entering and exiting the Fullerton station served by the Red, Brown and Purple lines will begin using the new station entrance located approximately 75 feet west of the existing temporary entrance. The temporary entrance was opened in October 2006 to allow crews to relocate the historic stationhouse to the north side of Fullerton Parkway and build the new station in its place.

While CTA personnel relocate fare equipment to the permanent station entrance Saturday morning, mobile fare boxes will be available in the temporary entrance to ensure continued access to the station.

Construction work associated with the Brown Line capacity expansion project will continue at Fullerton and in the new stationhouse until later this year. Upon completion of construction work, the Fullerton station will be fully accessible to customers with disabilities.

Also, the final phase of the Dearborn Subway project begins the weekend of Sept. 11-13 and will focus on renewing 19,000 feet of track along the south end of the subway. Rail service between the Blue Line's Clark/Lake and UIC-Halsted stations will be temporarily suspended from 10 p.m. September 11 until 4 a.m. September 14, as work continues to replace track.

Bus shuttles will operate as a substitute for rail service making stops adjacent to the Clark/Lake, Washington, Monroe, Jackson, LaSalle, Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations. Southbound buses will travel along Clark and Van Buren and northbound buses will operate via Harrison and Dearborn.

In 2007, CTA began a project to eliminate existing slow zones in the Dearborn subway that were having a major impact on travel time for riders. With the funds available at the time, CTA was able to make repairs that allowed trains to resume normal speeds. From July to September 2007, repairs were made to 6,336 feet of slow zones between the Damen and Clark/Lake stations. Crews replaced more than 5,000 deteriorated wooden rail ties with concrete rail ties.

The first two phases of the current project were completed six weeks earlier than originally anticipated due to improvements in how the work was sequenced. So far, more than 20,000 feet of track have been replaced just north of the Division station to just south of the Grand station. Trains have resumed normal speeds from Division to Clark/Lake as a result, allowing riders to experience faster travel times.

Crews are replacing deteriorated wooden half ties with concrete half ties, running rail and contact (third) rail to remove emerging slow zones and help prevent the creation of new slow zones.

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