Starting in March, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will begin the first project for the Your New Blue improvement program for the Blue Line O'Hare branch, a $492-million program to provide faster, smoother commutes and improved stations.
The Your New Blue includes a number of track and station improvement projects along the 12.5-mile stretch of the O'Hare Branch between the Grand and O'Hare stations and is the largest, most comprehensive investment in the Blue Line since the O'Hare branch was extended to the airport from Jefferson Park in 1983-1984.
"Your New Blue Program represents a huge investment in CTA riders and visitors traveling to Chicago via O'Hare and the many vibrant communities along the North and Northwest Sides," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "These long-overdue improvements are part of Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel's efforts to modernize our transit system for the 21st century."
The first phase of Your New Blue involves replacing crossties, tie plates and other track materials on the Milwaukee elevated track structure between the Damen and Logan Square stops.
Later in 2014, the CTA will begin rehabilitation projects at the Western, Damen and California rail stations. In all, the four-year Your New Blue program will upgrade 13 stations, including adding a new elevator at Addison; improve tracks and signals; install new water-management systems and repairs to ensure dry and clean subway stations and upgrade traction power to improve service and reliability.
Funding for Your New Blue is being provided by a variety of local, state and federal sources, including $86 million from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's Jump Start program.