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Neighbors Brace for 'Extremely Loud' Red Line Work This Weekend

By Benjamin Woodard | May 3, 2013 8:56am | Updated on May 3, 2013 11:45am
Red Line Substation Construction
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — For the second time this year, "extremely loud" construction is expected around the clock from Saturday to early Monday as crews build a Red Line electrical substation in Rogers Park, authorities said.

The construction has shut down the east side of Glenwood Avenue, between Pratt Boulevard and Farwell Avenue, since the Chicago Transit Authority began work in January.

"The CTA has told me the work may be extremely loud, so please plan accordingly if you live near the construction site," wrote Ald. Joe Moore (49th) in an email to residents.

Moore said the crews would be installing steel pipes under the tracks.

The alderman had given a similar warning in January when the CTA cut electricity to the block and drove pipes into the ground.

 The noisy work will continue through early morning hours on Glenwood Avenue as construction continues on a Red Line electrical substation, authorities said.
Rogers Park Red Line Substation
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"It was crazy loud," said Mary Anne Lyons, who lives in an apartment directly above the bustling construction site on Glenwood Avenue. "My neighbor said things were falling off her shelves."

Lyons, 62, has been posting bird's-eye view photos of the construction to her blog, called "How to Build a Substation."

She said she's made friends with some of the workers, who frequently view her blog.

"The construction company loves the blog," she said.

This time around she plans to sleep on an air mattress near her front door in an effort to dampen the noise by putting a wall between her and the construction.

"I have ear plugs," she said, adding that she'd distributed some to her neighbors.

Jeremie Rosley, 35, whose apartment is next to the site, said he's looking for somewhere else to live this weekend.

"There’s no where else I can think of that you’d get away with this," Rosley, who lives with his cat in the one-bedroom apartment and remembers well the last time construction lasted through the night. "Things fall off shelves, the table shakes. I don’t understand how this is acceptable."

Rosley recorded the loud construction from inside his apartment on his cell phone in January.

He said he had reached out to the CTA to ask why the work was scheduled over the weekend, but received no response.

"If there’s an improvement that we have to make sometimes we just have to do work where it’s needed," said CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis.

Lukidis said the CTA often schedules major construction projects for the weekend to lessen delays to trains service.

"The CTA is actually pretty mindful of the impacts that we have when we have to inconvenience people," she said. "We do a pretty good job of letting people know in advance."

The CTA said the substation will boost electricity to the train tracks, allowing Red Line trains to travel faster through areas long plagued with "slow zones."