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Blue Line rehab to begin in March

Proposed CTA Blue Line improvements.

Proposed CTA Blue Line improvements.

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Updated: February 25, 2014 12:06AM

The first phase of the CTA’s $492 million O’Hare Blue Line rehab — tentatively planned for late spring — is now set to begin in March, the transit agency announced Monday.

CTA officials unveiled their plans in December, and they include a number of track and station improvements between the Grand and O’Hare stations. The improvements, scheduled over four years, are expected to shave up to 10 minutes off the trip from O’Hare International Airport to downtown.

With more detailed planning under way, the project can no start sooner, officials said.

The first phase involves replacing old wooden rail ties, tie plates and other materials on elevated tracks between the Damen and Logan Square stops, officials said. That work will require 10 weekend-only closures of small sections of the Blue Line, officials said. The CTA will offer free shuttle bus services to accommodate displaced riders. The first temporary closure is tentatively set for the weekend of March 21-24.

“Your New Blue 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,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a written statement. “These long-overdue improvements are part of Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel’s efforts to modernize our transit system for the 21st century.”

For more information about the project, go to

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