CHICAGO (CBS) — The Blue Line is getting another facelift, as workers prepare to begin renovations at the Belmont and Jefferson Park stations.
The improvements are part of the $500 million “Your New Blue” project to rebuild 14 outdated Blue Line stations, replace aging track, and upgrade existing signals.
The Belmont subway station has seen only minor renovations since it was built about 50 years ago.
One of the busiest bus-to-train locations, the new station will include a glass and steel gateway canopy at the entrance. The $17 million in upgrades also will include LED lighting, a resurfaced subway platform, and new signs to speed up bus boarding.
Meantime, the $25 million renovation of the Jefferson Park station will include a new canopy, lights, and public art in the bus area. Escalators and stairs to the platform on the Kennedy Expressway also will be replaced.
Work at Belmont should be done by the end of the year, and the upgrades at Jefferson Park will be finished by mid-2019.
CTA President Dorval Carter sought to assure riders the improvements will not come at the cost of another fare hike.
“We don’t have any plans for any fare increases in the near future. We just did a fare increase, as you know, this year,” he said.
The “Your New Blue” project started in 2014, and so far has brought improvements to the O’Hare, Rosemont, Cumberland, Harlem, Montrose, Irving Park, Addison, California, Western, and Damen stations. Track work also has been completed along the Milwaukee Avenue section of the ‘L,’ and the Grand, Chicago, Division, and Logan Square stations also will be renovated in the future.
The mayor’s office said, when completed, the project will shave 10 minutes off a round trip between O’Hare and downtown.