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Reconstruction Of Red Line South Nears Completion

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A CTA Red Line train pulls into the Cermak/Chinatown stop. (Credit: CBS)

A CTA Red Line train pulls into the Cermak/Chinatown stop. (Credit: CBS)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A week from Monday, the CTA Red Line is expected to reopen between Roosevelt Road and the 95th Street terminal.

CTA officials say the work will be finished on time, and within the project’s $425 million budget.

Station renovation is complete. CTA a week ago accepted the work done to install or renovate elevators, so that the entire Red Line South is accessible. CTA Chief Infrastructure Officer Chris Bushell said work on track and signals is essentially complete, but is still undergoing testing and tweaking.

Bushell said the results will show that the inconvenience of shutting down the line for five months, rather than years of piecemeal renovation work, was worth it.

How quickly has it moved? Consider that the line closed April 19, that the old tracks and signals were torn out by June, that trenches for cabling were being installed in July and that new crushed-rock ballast — the foundation for the line’s tracks — was being spread in August.

CTA President Forrest Claypool said that a number of community leaders have petitioned CTA to keep the express buses that have run since April between the shuttered Red Line South stations and the Garfield Green Line station, but said they were told no.

Completion of the project does not mean work is finished on the Red Line South, however. Renovation of the 95th Street terminal is next. That $240 million project is scheduled to begin next spring.

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