The station work is part of the $492-million Your New Blue plan, the largest comprehensive investment for the Blue Line since it was extended to O'Hare in 1983. The project includes several track and station improvement projects along a 12.5-mile stretch of the Blue Line O'Hare Branch between the Grand and Cumberland stations, as well as upgrades to the signal system between the Jefferson Park and O'Hare stations.
The Damen, Western and California stations were originally constructed nearly 120 years ago and have undergone varying degrees of repairs over the years. Improvements will include exterior stationhouse restoration such as painting, tuck-pointing, replacement of windows and doors, sidewalk repairs and platform repairs or replacement.
"These will be the first of several projects over the next four years to bring improved stations and faster, smoother commutes to the more than 25 million riders who use the O'Hare branch each year," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.
Funding for Your New Blue is a combination of local, state and federal sources and first projects of the four-year plan are expected to get under way in 2014. The project is expected to begin with trackwork, followed by station renovations, power upgrades and signal improvements.