The Chicago Transit Authority announced on Feb. 17 that the agency will soon tackle project work to replace key Blue Line track components on the O’Hare branch.
Weekend service will be impacted beginning in late February and continuing through May. The work is expected to improve service on one of the system’s busiest lines and ensure that the branch can accommodate rising ridership demand, a release said.
The original Belmont crossover—built in 1970 along with the Kimball Subway section of the Blue Line—will be replaced.
The track component is critical to service and safety as it allows the CTA to move trains between both sets of track and provides the ability to reroute trains to allow for maintenance. Repairs are no longer a possibility along this section due to years of use and deterioration, and CTA said a complete replacement of the crossover is required.
Starting the project immediately will allow CTA to reduce the amount of maintenance required to keep the current Belmont crossover operating safely as well as enabling the transit authority to minimize service delays.
The planned work will be carried out on weekends in order to minimize service disruptions for commuters, starting Feb. 24-27. The transit authority expects to have as many as eight other weekends of work planned through late May, according to a release. Crews will for the most part conduct work between the hours of 10 p.m. on Friday nights and 4 a.m. Monday mornings when weather permits.
The weekend of Feb. 24-27 will see the closure of the Belmont, Logan Square, and California stations. Bus shuttles will operate between the Addison and Western stations on the O’Hare branch in place of the Blue Line service to accommodate commuters, CTA said.
All of the stations impacted by the project work will have bus shuttles available to connect passengers to an open station where they can board the Blue Line.