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CTA Power Station Along Prime Milwaukee Stretch Heads For Rezoning

By  Alisa Hauser and Heather Cherone | May 9, 2017 3:19pm | Updated on May 10, 2017 7:50am

 Zoning change proposed for 1076-1082 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Zoning change proposed for 1076-1082 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

NOBLE SQUARE— On Tuesday, members of the city's Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards unanimously approved a new zoning designation for a large fenced-in lot along Milwaukee Avenue that houses a CTA power station.

The measure to change the zoning for 1076-1082 N. Milwaukee Ave. from that of a single detached house  to a Transportation District was passed with no discussion from the 18 members of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

The zoning change is scheduled to be voted on by the full City Council on Wednesday.

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who sponsored the zoning change, told the committee that the site needed to be cleaned up because it was polluted after being used as a power station and part of it will continue to be used by the CTA for track switching purposes.

Located next door to Frontier, a restaurant and bar just a block north of the Kennedy Expy. ramp, the one-story brick building sits above the underground L tracks.

In February, Hopkins told DNAinfo that the new zoning designation for that piece of land was needed to allow the CTA to install some ComEd switches on that property and the current zoning prohibits the type of work that they want to do.

Hopkins said that the gray boxes set to be installed by ComEd will be emergency switches to cut power to the CTA in the event of an emergency.

Catherine Hosinski, a CTA spokeswoman, said that the substation — which houses equipment needed to convert electric power from the form provided by the electrical company to the appropriate voltage, current type and frequency needed to power CTA’s trains via the third rail — was built in 1969 to support the Blue Line.

Old transformers and asbestos materials will be removed as part of the planned upgrade to the facility and new power converting equipment with greater capacity will be installed.

Hosinski said the upgrades will help improve the reliability of Blue Line service to meet current and future needs and that the CTA "will work closely with the local community to mitigate any impacts throughout construction."