(CBS) — We could be deep into summer before the CTA’s Yellow Line is running again, following an embankment collapse.
The dangling rails and damaged power lines have been removed from what’s left of the Skokie Swift right-of-way just west of McCormick Boulevard. CTA and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District officials said core soil samples are being taken, which will let engineers know what they must do to assure that the tracks can be rebuilt with a firm foundation.
The train service between Rogers Park and Skokie was shut down earlier this week following an embankment collapse. Initially, officials thought it would take only a few days to repair.
Now, a MWRD spokesperson says, sampling and design will take two weeks and said that actual reconstruction will take “several weeks more,” although neither agency is being specific.
MWRD had promised a full timetable Friday, but said it won’t know for sure how long the construction phase will take until the core sampling and design are complete.
Still unclear is what the embankment collapse will mean for repairs to the CTA’s ‘L’ fleet. It left the agency’s major rail repair shop isolated from the rest of the rapid transit system. A spokesman said day-to-day repairs also can be done at other locations.
But it could mean problems for ‘L’ cars needing heavy repairs, including the 3200-series cars that have begun mid-life heavy rehabilitation, and delivery of the last of the new 5000-series cars. The CTA is assessing the situation and is expected to say more next week.
The CTA is expected to continue providing free bus shuttles making stops at the Dempster-Skokie, Oakton-Skokie and Howard stations. The 97/Skokie bus continues to run its normal schedules.
The Swift normally carries 2,900 passengers each weekday.