CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Transit Authority is set to close the Thorndale Red Line ‘L’ station Friday night, as part of its program to give facelifts to seven stops along the North Side leg of the line.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, the Thorndale stop becomes the third station to close; the Granville and Morse stations have already reopened.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

The 91-year-old station, which serves the Edgewater neighborhood, will get a new platform, stationhouse improvements and work to the adjacent tracks and viaduct to help eliminate a slow zone.

The CTA is advising riders to use the Granville station, three blocks to the north, or the Bryn Mawr station, three blocks to the south. The No. 36 Broadway bus can drop riders half a block from either station.

The rehab work is expected to take six weeks. The Argyle station will close Friday, Aug. 24, also for six weeks.

Although the Thorndale stop is being renovated now, it is also one of three North Side Red Line stations that could close permanently under a more sweeping modernization of the Red Line.

Back at the beginning of last year, the CTA announced plans for that modernization, which would affect the Red and Purple lines north of the Addison stop. No specific plan has been approved yet, but two of the blueprints call for closing of the Thorndale stop, as well as the Jarvis and Lawrence stops – both of which are also up for renovation.

These plans also call for eliminating the South Boulevard and Foster stops on the Purple Line, and downgrading Purple Line express and Red Line local service by maintaining three or four tracks.

In place of the shuttered stations, new entrances would be added to other existing stations – including an Ainslie Street entrance at the Argyle stop, a Hollywood Avenue entrance at the Bryn Mawr stop, entrances to the Howard terminal at Rogers Avenue, and an entrance to the Noyes Street Purple Line stop at Evanston’s Gaffield Place.

The current concrete ground embankment structure would also be replaced with a new concrete elevated structure, as seen on the Orange Line.

An even more radical plan calls for getting rid of the ‘L’ structure altogether between the Belmont and Loyola stops, and replacing it with a subway. New subway stations would be located at Addison, Irving Park, Wilson, Foster, Bryn Mawr and Glenlake.

Under that plan, the Argyle, Lawrence, Berwyn, Thorndale and Granville stops would vanish, in some instances without a new entrance in close proximity to replace them. For example, a commuter living on Ainslie Street in the Uptown neighborhood may now walk one block north to the Argyle stop or south to the Lawrence stop. Under the subway plan, the commuter would have to walk two and a half blocks north to Winona Street or three blocks south to Wilson Avenue to catch the Red Line.

The subway plan also calls for the elimination of the Jarvis stop, as well as the South Boulevard and Foster Purple Line stops.

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