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Blue Line Closures Slow Down, but Don't Worry Those Bound for O'Hare

By DNAinfo Staff on March 22, 2014 11:47am

  The first of several weekend station shutdowns to improve service on the Blue Line began this weekend.
Blue Line Closures Slow Down, but Don't Worry Those Bound for O'Hare
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CHICAGO — When it comes to going to the airport, CTA riders know it takes time.

So even though many were unaware of a weekend shutdown of service the Western and Logan Square stations that would slow down their trip, few seemed to be worried they'll miss their flight. 

"This kind of thing happens frequently enough that it doesn't bother me," said Charlie Smith, a 23-year-old South Loop resident who took the Blue Line Saturday morning to O'Hare International Airport to catch a flight to Boston. "Looks like they're [the CTA] handling it well."

The shutdown between those stations is one of many weekend closures expected as a part of a $492 million plan to improve service along the O'Hare branch of the line, and lasts through early Monday morning.

Among the many goals of the four-year project are to add cellphone service in the tunnels, update stations and slash 10 minutes off the trip from the Loop to the airport.

While Google Maps pegs a regular trip from the Washington Blue Line Station to the airport at 43 minutes by train, a Saturday morning trip clocked in at 53 minutes.

The extra 10 minutes came when riders were told to get off the train at Western and take a free shuttle bus to the Logan Square station, where they'd have to get on another train for the remainder of the journey.

While the CTA had posted several notices along the route and had posted alerts online, many taking the 'L' to the airport were unaware of the closure.

"I saw the alert but I never thought about it," said 19-year-old Jessica White on the Blue Line after starting her journey at the Fullerton Red Line Station before switching trains Downtown.

White said she had ample time to spare to get to her flight to Ohio, but added "I never take this train and I had no clue."

The next track closure will run April 4-7 and will affect service between the Western and Damen stations.