CTA Blue Line renovations at Belmont, Jefferson Park begin Tuesday

EMBED </>More Videos

The CTA started work Tuesday on major improvements at two stations on the Blue Line. (WLS)

The Blue Line, which is the fastest growing line in the CTA system, is about to get a huge upgrade.

ABC7 Eyewitness News took a ride Tuesday morning with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who and talked about the next phase of improvements set to make the Blue Line much better.

It's all part of the $492 million "Your New Blue" program, which includes the Belmont Blue Gateway Project and updates to the Jefferson Park Transit Center. The renovations will provide better lighting, drier tunnels, improved boarding, improved platforms and new cameras.

"It'll make me feel safer," said Kathleen McCarthy, a Blue Line rider. "Well, better lighting, you'll be able to see what's around you better. I think it'll be good for the station."

Belmont and Jefferson Park are two of the Blue Line's busiest stops.

"Belmont Blue and Jefferson Park are two of the CTA'S busiest and most critical rail-to-bus transfer stations. Combined, they serve nearly 4 million rail passengers each year and hundreds of thousands of bus customers," CTA President Dorval Carter said.

In all, the "Your New Blue" campaign will rehab 14 stations along the Blue Line O'Hare branch. The stops at Division, Chicago, Grand, and in the Blue Line Subway, are set to begin later this year.

The improvements are part of the mayor's plan in transit investments.

"It'd been underinvested over years. This investment, the work not only on the stations here at Belmont and Jefferson, but also the track and signal work, while may not be the sexiest work, in fact, all said and done with the New Blue, will take about 8-to-10 minutes off the ride from O'Hare downtown," Emanuel said.

The CTA announced on Sunday the addition of 4,800 high definition cameras throughout the CTA system and better improved cameras for safety.

CTA officials said for now, there are no plans for a rate increase in the near future.

The two projects will cost $42 million. This is the first time Belmont is getting renovated. It's been more than 15 years since Jefferson Park has been upgraded.
Related Topics:
trafficCTAconstructionChicagoLogan SquareAvondaleJefferson Park
(Copyright ©2018 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)