LOGAN SQUARE — The $492 million Blue Line Reconstruction project is not going to be a walk in the park for commuters, officials warned this week, particularly those in Logan Square.
Ten weekend closures are planned for track replacement and repair between the Damen and Logan Square stops. Seven of those weekend closures will come between the Western and Logan Square stations.
Shuttle buses will pick up the slack of the rail station closures.
Streets and sidewalks will be shut down, and those who live near the reconstruction will hear plenty of noise.
"It's not going to be easy for a lot of you that live right by the "L,"" Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said to a group of residents gathered at the Logan Square Library for a community meeting about the project. "We're really hoping that the things these improvements do for us will make this a better transit route — and I think it will."
CTA officials shared details about the first round of work, scheduled to begin March 21.
The first phase will require intermittent overnight closures of Fullerton and Sacramento avenues, as well as stretches of side streets Belden and Medill avenues just off California Avenue.
A full list of the March 21-24 closures are as follows:
- 2843 W. Belden Ave. — Will be closed between 10 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday at the "L."
- 2860 W. Medill Ave. — Will be closed between 10 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday at the "L."
- 2958 W. Fullerton Ave. — Will be closed from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday at the L. It will also be closed for two to three hours each day, but not at the same time as Sacramento Avenue. No parking will be allowed under the "L."
- 2410 N. Sacramento Ave. — Will be closed from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday at the "L." It will also be closed for two to three hours each day, but not at the same time as Fullerton Avenue.
- 2410 N. Linden Place — Will be closed between 10 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday at the "L."
The next track closure is scheduled for April 4-7 between the Western and Damen stations. Officials said more details will be released as their available on the project website.
Station renovations aren't set to begin for a while, but Thursday's meeting attracted preservationists worried about what the work will mean for historic stations, especially the nearly 120-year-old Damen and California stations.
"The Damen station is one of those great stations from 1895, part of the original metropolitan stations, and we just want make sure that is retained in its spirit and feeling," said Preservation Chicago president Ward Miller.
CTA officials assured residents that no work would be done on the stations before the community could be heard, and emphasized that they would take great care to maintain the historical integrity of the existing structures.
"Historic preservation is obviously an important component of this, especially when we're dealing with two of the oldest stations on the CTA system in Damen and California, but also the stations that date back to the '70s and still had that mid-century modern aesthetic to it," said CTA spokesman Brian Steele.
He said contractors had not been hired for the station improvements but that work is expected to begin by mid-summer.
"We're still working on the schedule and duration for those projects and the final designs, but all of them will be very respectful to the historical elements of those stations," he said.