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Renovated station opens as part of CTA's Cermak branch rehabilitation


Last week, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) reopened the sixth of eight stations being remodeled as part of the $483 million rehabilitation of the 6.6-mile Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line.

The Western station now features a pedestrian walkway bridge that spans Western Avenue and two entrances — a main east side and an auxiliary west side entrance.

The new center platform features benches, overhead heaters, canopies and enhanced lighting. CTA also added new station signs and a public address system. The handicapped-accessible station also includes an elevator, escalator, wheelchair turnstile, TTY telephones, tactile edging and Braille signs.

CTA is rehabilitating the 100-year-old steel structure that supports the Blue Line’s elevated portion. Prior to rehabilitation, slow zones required trains to operate as slow as 15 mph instead of 55 mph. A trip from 54th/Cermak to downtown used to take 45 minutes; once the four-plus-year project is complete in January 2005, the trip will take less than 25 minutes.

The rehabilitation is being funded through a Full Funding Grant Agreement, Illinois FIRST, the Regional Transportation Authority and Illinois Department of Transportation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/7/2004