CTA awards contract to modernize three Blue Line stations

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Board approved a $30 million contract to F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates, LLC.  on Aug. 15 for renovations at the Grand, Chicago and Division Blue Line stations.

Paschen is described as an industry leader in infrastructure construction and rehab projects, and the firm brings extensive experience in heavy rail transportation, including mass transit, CTA said.

Work to modernize the stations is set to kick off within the next few months, officials said. The project is part of the Your New Blue (YNB) initiative, which aims to invest in transit services along the O’Hare Branch of the CTA’s Blue Line.

The project is described as the largest renovation of the three subway stations since they opened for service in 1951.

All three stations will undergo a variety of upgrades, including the installation of new surfaces, new railings, new lighting, security cameras and other improvements.

“The modernization of these three stations, which link Chicagoans to downtown and Near North side jobs, schools and health care facilities, will allow us to provide improved and safer transit service to the four million passengers who use these transit hubs each year,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This investment will continue our efforts to enhance a world-class transit system that better serves the neighborhoods of Chicago for generations to come.”

The project will also refurbish escalators and repair stairs, in addition to the installation of new entry canopies and enclosures at each stair opening. Customers also will see enhanced lighting, new tile and repairs to walls and floors on the mezzanine and platform levels.

New high-definition cameras will be installed as part of the CTA’s enhanced Safe & Secure upgrades to security throughout its system, and new audio speakers will also be installed on the platform level.

The $492 million YNB initiative entails track and infrastructure improvements, station house upgrades, subway improvements, signal upgrades and power upgrades along the O’Hare Branch of the Blue Line.

The CTA expects the modernization work to result in faster, more reliable and more frequent service between O’Hare and downtown. The work is also set to reduce commute times to and from the airport by up to 10 minutes one-way.

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