"[Chicago] Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel and I are pleased to report that this massive investment in the Red Line South and the South Side is proceeding smoothly and our customers are a month closer to a brand new railroad that provides faster, smoother and more reliable commutes," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.
The Red Line South reconstruction began May 19, requiring a temporary shutdown of 10 miles of track to completely rebuild it. The five-month shutdown will allow the work to be completed in the quickest, most cost-efficient manner and includes the rehabilitation of eight of nine Red Line South rail stations. The ninth station, 95th Street Terminal, will be reconstructed in a separate, $240 million project next year.
The project includes replacing all railroad ties, rails, third rail, drainage and communications systems and ballast. Station work includes lighting replacement or refurbishment, new signage, floor reglazing/repair, painting, cleaning and new elevators at the Garfield, 63rd and 87th stations.
About 95 percent of the old tracks have been removed and 80 percent of the third rail, signals and communications cable has been finished. At shuttered Red Line South stations, demolition and foundation work has progressed in areas where new elevators will be built.