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How the Wilson Red Line Rehab Will Impact You

By Adeshina Emmanuel | September 18, 2014 9:45am
 A rendering of what the Wilson train station will look like when completed.
A rendering of what the Wilson train station will look like when completed.
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Chicago Transit Authority

UPTOWN — Uptown will have a shiny new Wilson Red Line station in a few years, but until then, there will be noise, dust and rats.

"This has been a long time coming, a couple decades coming," said Ald. James Cappleman (46th) at a community meeting Tuesday about the more than 100-year-old station's makeover, which will happen in five stages, according to a preliminary schedule.

Using that schedule, here's a look at four ways the $203 million project, kicking off next month and scheduled for completion in 2017, could impact people living in or passing through Uptown.

Street Closings and Truck Traffic

Parts of Broadway as well as parts of Wilson and various sidewalks and alleys around the Wilson station are will be temporarily closed throughout construction. Officials also said to expect "heavy truck traffic" and the presence of construction equipment in the area, which could occupy some parking spots.

Demolition the First Step Toward Reconstruction

CTA representatives said the contractor, Walsh/2-in-1 Joint Venture, could receive building and demolition permits within the next three weeks, and plans to start demolishing buildings in October. Officials acknowledged Tuesday that many of the buildings could have "a rat situation" going on and will require serious rodent abatement.

Sharing is Delaying

The Wilson station, which has four tracks including a stone structure for southbound Purple Line trains that bypass the station, will spend the first four phases of the project as a three-track operation while the CTA destroys and rebuilds one track in each phase, starting with the southbound Purple Line track and southbound Red Line track in stages 1 and 2, and ending with the northbound Purple and Redline trains in stages 3 and 4.

Trains headed in the same direction will have to share tracks while their usual track is out of use, something that officials said could add a yet-undetermined delay to travel times until the final construction stage kicks in in fall 2017.

A Revolving Door of Entrances and Exits

In Stage 1, scheduled to start spring 2015, CTA will build a temporary exit near Sunnyside Avenue and temporary entrances on the north and south sides of Wilson Avenue — which won't make a whole lot of sense to riders until Stage III, slated for spring 2016, when the main Gerber Building entrance and Wilson Avenue auxiliary entrance are closed. When the main station house opens in 2017, along with auxiliary entrances north of Wilson and on Sunnyside, the temporary measures will be phased out.

For a complete rundown of each stage of the Wilson project, click here.

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