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OhioGuy Oct 27, 2008 6:46 AM

^^^ Those signs have been up for a couple months. But it is exciting to think about all four tracks being back up & running. It certainly looks to me like the Fullerton southbound outer tracks will be completed & opened first. So once that happens, my morning commute should be much more pleasant once we're past Belmont. As it is now, a purple or brown line train ahead of a red line train really slows things down because of the extra stop those two lines have to make at Diversey. But soon those delays should be a thing of the past! :banana:

VivaLFuego Oct 27, 2008 2:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3877403)
I noticed a sign tonight at Belmont and Fullerton that said the 2nd phase 3 tracking was running 6 months ahead of schedule and full rail service is expected to resume by the end of 2008. Could the CTA finally be getting its act together?

CTA executed a contract change order for ~$2 million earlier this year to accelerate the structural and track portion of the work at Belmont/Fullerton by 6 months. It's ahead of original schedule because the schedule has changed :) The entire corridor should operate much more efficiently, quickly, and smoothly once trains aren't frequently criss-crossing between tracks. I have high hopes for reliving my childhood when the entire 4-track corridor was zippy...

Chicago3rd Oct 27, 2008 2:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3877403)
I noticed a sign tonight at Belmont and Fullerton that said the 2nd phase 3 tracking was running 6 months ahead of schedule and full rail service is expected to resume by the end of 2008. Could the CTA finally be getting its act together?

They have been together as far as the 3 tracking went. Commutes became way smoother. Then they had it together by finally rushing to get the slow zones repaired......since Ron has been there things are getting together. Hope he continues with the changes.

OhioGuy Oct 27, 2008 3:19 PM

Is there somewhere on the CTA's website where the say in advance whether the red line subway will be closed on a particular weekend? Or are they finally finished with closing it on weekends? I'm trying to figure out if it will be open the weekend of Nov. 7-9 when my parents are in town.

(I looked in the customer alerts section of the website, but it doesn't seem to give any information regarding red line weekend subway service until about a day or two before the service change goes into affect... they didn't close it this past weekend)

jjk1103 Oct 27, 2008 10:53 PM

.can anyone tell me when the weekend track work on the O'Hare Blue is going to be complete ?

ChicagoChicago Oct 27, 2008 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3877717)
Is there somewhere on the CTA's website where the say in advance whether the red line subway will be closed on a particular weekend? Or are they finally finished with closing it on weekends? I'm trying to figure out if it will be open the weekend of Nov. 7-9 when my parents are in town.

(I looked in the customer alerts section of the website, but it doesn't seem to give any information regarding red line weekend subway service until about a day or two before the service change goes into affect... they didn't close it this past weekend)

The customer alerts section on transitchicago.com is your best bet. I believe theyare done running the red line tracks on the elevated route. Now they are closing portions of the loop down on the weekends.

VivaLFuego Oct 28, 2008 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3877717)
Is there somewhere on the CTA's website where the say in advance whether the red line subway will be closed on a particular weekend? Or are they finally finished with closing it on weekends? I'm trying to figure out if it will be open the weekend of Nov. 7-9 when my parents are in town.

(I looked in the customer alerts section of the website, but it doesn't seem to give any information regarding red line weekend subway service until about a day or two before the service change goes into affect... they didn't close it this past weekend)

Weekend Red Line closures are finished. At this point, the only reroutes occur in one or both directions on Monday evenings. This should wrap up by the end of the year.

Quote:

.can anyone tell me when the weekend track work on the O'Hare Blue is going to be complete ?
I think by Thanksgiving the weekend line cuts will be finished. Thanksgiving is also the target for completing the track replacement on the Lake and Wabash legs of the Loop. Wells and Van Buren track work will be done sometime in 2009.

jjk1103 Oct 28, 2008 1:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3878648)
Weekend Red Line closures are finished. At this point, the only reroutes occur in one or both directions on Monday evenings. This should wrap up by the end of the year.



I think by Thanksgiving the weekend line cuts will be finished. Thanksgiving is also the target for completing the track replacement on the Lake and Wabash legs of the Loop. Wells and Van Buren track work will be done sometime in 2009.

....thanks a lot !!!

jjk1103 Oct 28, 2008 1:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3878648)
Weekend Red Line closures are finished. At this point, the only reroutes occur in one or both directions on Monday evenings. This should wrap up by the end of the year.



I think by Thanksgiving the weekend line cuts will be finished. Thanksgiving is also the target for completing the track replacement on the Lake and Wabash legs of the Loop. Wells and Van Buren track work will be done sometime in 2009.

...why are they re-routing the Red on Monday nights ?

OhioGuy Oct 28, 2008 1:22 AM

[QUOTE=VivaLFuego;3878648]Weekend Red Line closures are finished. At this point, the only reroutes occur in one or both directions on Monday evenings. This should wrap up by the end of the year./QUOTE]

Sweet. Thanks for the info! (and you too, ChicagoChicago)

UChicagoDomer Oct 31, 2008 1:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3878648)

I think by Thanksgiving the weekend line cuts will be finished. Thanksgiving is also the target for completing the track replacement on the Lake and Wabash legs of the Loop. Wells and Van Buren track work will be done sometime in 2009.


Is the CTA going to re-start construction on the Blue Line on the 15mph stretch between Chicago and Grand inbound?

ChicagoChicago Oct 31, 2008 2:05 PM

I’m curious to know about the painting of the Wabash side of the Loop tracks. I am aware of the rehab work done on Wabash with sidewalk replacement and flower Boxes, etc. Does anyone know if it will be continued to the rest of the Loop tracks? It looks fantastic!

VivaLFuego Oct 31, 2008 4:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3884768)
Is the CTA going to re-start construction on the Blue Line on the 15mph stretch between Chicago and Grand inbound?

My understanding is that there is a strong desire to give the Blue Line subway the same treatment that the Red Line got this year: full replacement of all ties and tie plates for the entire length of the subway. The slow zone removal project a year ago in the Milwaukee subway, following the derailment, was rolled into the Block 37 contract to replace only the most deteriorated sections as an emergency measure, but as this new slow zone suggests there is plenty more that needs replacing.

The company line appears to be, however, that such a project is currently contingent on increased capital funding. Between the current track projects and the multitude of ongoing vehicle orders (both buses and railcars), CTA has reached the limit of how much of its future capital grant money can be borrowed against to pay for immediate improvements. So after the current round of track projects - O'Hare branch, Clark Jct/Brown Line, Loop El - track maintenance will basically revert to it's former role as sending crews out reactively to try to fix slow zones as they occur, rather than performing a full capital construction project to fix the track for good with a full replacement of old track components.

The prioritization of capital projects is a tricky question. My perception is that the current guiding principle is to use capital investment to specifically reduce operating costs, hence the heavy emphasis on accelerated and drastic replacement of the vehicle fleet to reduce maintenance costs, the latter of which come out of the operating budget. Replacement of slow zones is thus a priority only if the slow zone has the result of some combination of: 1) increasing the vehicle and labor requirement to meet the same frequency of service, because the service is slower, or 2) heavily suppressing ridership/fare revenue.

jjk1103 Oct 31, 2008 11:38 PM

....thanks Viva.....great info as usual !! :worship: :worship: :worship:

the urban politician Nov 2, 2008 8:34 PM

RFMA succeeds in getting Morgan Street station
By Patrick Butler | November 2008

“We heard the local businesses, and the City in turn heard us,” said Randolph/Fulton Market Association Director Roger Romanelli, elated after the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) decision to put a Morgan Street stop on the Green Line elevated train route running along Lake Street.

Work will begin in March 2009. Because Lake Street will be kept open and the trains will continue running during construction, the job will take about 18 months. That is longer than Romanelli would like, but better late than never, he feels.

Romanelli said his 90-member business group, representing the area between Halsted Street, Hubbard Street, Ogden Avenue, and Washington Boulevard, had been lobbying since 2002 for a station to replace the old Halsted el stop that was closed in 1995 during the Green Line renovation.

The original Morgan station was torn down in 1948 when the area—and ridership—started slipping.

The decision to go ahead with the new station came out of a $2.5 million Chicago Department of
Transportation study that also led to creating the Pink Line; adding five new bus routes, including the Randolph Street Express; and enhancing existing el lines.

“The City is recognizing that businesses are here and their employees need to get to work affordably and in an environmentally gentle way,” said Romanelli.

The stakes, Romanelli said, are high.

“We’ve got 200 businesses employing 3,000 workers in the Randolph/Fulton Market district,” he said.

High price tag
Romanelli’s only concerns at this point are the reported $35 million price tag for the new station and that the money apparently will be coming out of the Kedzie Avenue TIF District, which Romanelli said has $38 million in the bank and collects $12 million a year in property taxes.

“It’s only your standard station with handicapped access,” Romanelli explained. “There will be elevators, and there will certainly have to be new structural supports. But $38 million?”

Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) spokeswoman Maria Castenada explained it is impossible” to tell how much the station will cost until officials approve a design and award bids later this year.

“But whatever the cost is, the cost is,” said Bob Wiggs, director of the 90-year-old West Loop
Community Organization (WLCO), which represents some 125 businesses, agencies, and organizations
in the area running from 600 north to 1600 south between Wells Street and California Avenue.

“It’s absolutely terrific,” Wiggs continued. “It’s long overdue. We’d really like to have some input on the finished design, and we know we will,” he said, adding that “Roger [Romanelli] deserves a lot of the credit. He really took the bull by the horns.”

The Morgan station will be midway between the existing Clinton Street (540 west) and Ashland Avenue (1600 west) stops, which are 1.5 miles from one another. The new station will have two entrances, bike racks, a concession stand, customer assistance kiosks, security cameras, and a six-car parking area translucent canopy, according to the WLCO.

Romanelli plans to ask CDOT and the CTA to be more specific about just how much the new stop is going to cost—but certainly not because he wants to stop the project.

“We want to talk about doing this in a thoughtful way,” Romanelli said. “It’s the biggest public works project we’ve had here since they rebuilt the Green Line. We’re going to ask for comparables from the Brown Line construction project,” he said.

Another concern, Romanelli added, is whether commuters would drive to the West Loop and take the CTA downtown after parking in spaces needed for employees and customers in what is still a highly industrial area where parking is at a premium.

Also competing for those precious parking spaces are patrons of the area’s trendy retailers and
restaurants as well as residents of the new housing sprouting all over just a few blocks south, according to local businesspeople Lee Friedheim of Cougle Commission Co. and Bill Bojeczko of Exel Corned Beef.

Positive impact
A new station at that location cannot help but have a positive impact on everyone, said Harpo
Studios’ Bill Becker. Harpo has many full- and part-time employees, audiences of up to 1,000 people a day for tapings of Oprah Winfrey’s shows, and scores of shoppers at the Oprah Store. Another local organization that will benefit is the Haymarket Center social service agency at 932 W. Washington Blvd., whose 500 employees and 18,000 clients overwhelmingly use mass transit.

“Communities tend to thrive when there’s transportation nearby,” Anthony Cole, the agency’s vice president, said.

“We have a 24-hour operation in the Randolph/Fulton Market area,” Romanelli noted. “We have businesses starting operations at 3 a.m., restaurants opening at 5 a.m., and residents and workers coming and going day and night. Halsted is a destination point for the 3,000 industrial workers in the morning. And in the afternoon, it’s a destination for restaurant-goers and art gallery patrons.”

Romanelli hailed the CTA’s green light for the Green Line’s newest station as a very “green thing to do,” noting that putting a station at Lake and Morgan Streets would help not only the local economy but the environment by taking more cars off the street.

“We’ve been talking green for many years,” he concluded. “This is another way to really engage companies about producing small carbon footprints. Hopefully those companies will develop public transit plans for their employees and even encourage them to use bikes.”

ardecila Nov 3, 2008 1:00 AM

^^ Sounds good. March 2009 seems a bit optimistic, seeing as how they don't even have a design yet. I hope the design is at least halfway-decent. There's an abandoned little gas station at the corner of Morgan and Lake. If the CTA buys it and uses it to construct the station house, then it would simplify construction and perhaps cost.

I just had an awesome thought - a Studio Gang L station? I'm sure their work is way out of budget for this project, and they have little experience dealing with the value-engineering necessities of governmental work, but it would be pretty awesome. Plus, it would reinforce the "green" mentality that these West Loopers have about their station, and even the line's name.

BVictor1 Nov 3, 2008 8:11 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...ride03.article

About that old train bridge. . .
BABY STEP | City would use it to link trains with Michigan Ave.


November 3, 2008

You know that old up-in-the-air railroad bridge over the Chicago River by Kinzie -- the one people like to use as a backdrop for funky, urban wedding portraits?

The bridge connects to a Union Pacific train tunnel running under the Apparel Center, the Merchandise Mart and other buildings east toward North Michigan Avenue.

http://media1.suntimes.com/multimedi...0.imageContent
Looking west on the old railroad tracks to the Kinzie Street bridge.
(Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)


For more than 20 years, the city has been talking about making use of that tunnel to create a transit link from Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center to Michigan Avenue.

Now, the city is taking a baby step toward making the "Carroll Avenue" connection a reality. By year's end, the city's transportation department will issue a "request for proposals" for an "alternatives analysis" that will look not only at the Carroll Avenue site proposal, but also at other possibilities for a link from the West Loop to Michigan Avenue -- like using Illinois Street or Lower Wacker Drive.

Why does the city need to spend $1.6 million in federal money and a $400,000 city match on an alternatives analysis when officials already know they want to use Carroll Avenue?

"An alternatives analysis is required as part of the process," says Luann Hamilton, deputy commissioner for the division of project development for the Chicago Department of Transportation, a hurdle the city needs to clear to ask for federal "New Start" funds.

The city envisions a streetcar -- or an express bus -- picking up passengers at the train stations and carrying them north along Clinton. City officials would like to create an underpass under the Metra tracks so cars and buses wouldn't have to wait for the train.

The city would have to retrofit the old, raised bridge so it would carry the buses. Then, the bus or streetcar would be able to run along Carroll, without the interference of stop lights or other cars, to carry people straight east to Michigan Avenue, where they could get to shopping, Streeterville and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital complex.

Now, the way to get from the train stations to Michigan Avenue is by bus or taxi, going through traffic, or by a Chicago Water Taxi up the river during the months that it runs.

The city has discussed some version of the Carroll Avenue plan since at least 1986. The current version made it into the city's 2003 Central Area Plan, which talked up a range of transit and other improvements. A West Loop Transportation Complex along Clinton is part of that plan.

The total Carroll Avenue project would cost "tens of millions of dollars," and it certainly won't happen in this decade, Hamilton says. The alternatives analysis alone would take about 18 months.

While waiting to get the project going, the city has worked on protecting the right-of-way even as construction has gone on in the area, making sure the space is preserved. The Trump Tower, for instance, incorporated the opening into its design.

We'll check back in 2010 to see if the Carroll Avenue project finds the money to happen, or if that $2 million in analysis funding was spent in vain. Meanwhile, if you want photos in front of that bridge, take them now.

ChicagoChicago Nov 3, 2008 11:12 PM

Structural steel is on site for Wellington stop. It's going back up, if there was ever a doubt it wasn't.

I could have saved the CTA a few grand. What is the point of surveillance video monitors on the platforms? Armitage has it. I'm sure it isn't the only only one.

VivaLFuego Nov 4, 2008 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 3889749)
What is the point of surveillance video monitors on the platforms? Armitage has it. I'm sure it isn't the only only one.

Generally, monitors indicate a blind spot on the platform; the operator isn't able to see the entire train to safely operate the doors. Multiple monitors may be necessary if trains of different lengths (4 v. 6 v. 8-cars) have different berthing locations on the platform.

orulz Nov 4, 2008 1:18 AM

Good old FTA red tape. Is there any way Chicago could fund the Carroll Avenue project locally? That way they can build it how they like, no requirements for alternatives analysis and such.

The only map I've ever seen of the Caroll Ave transitway (here) shows the northbound segment following Canal Street until just north of Fulton Street where it cuts over to Clinton. First of all, where is the right-of-way to do that? Seems to me it would make more sense to use that little disjointed segment of Milwaukee between Lake and Fulton. Heck, even close it off to regular traffic for the transitway, because, who cares?

Grade separating Clinton and the railroad will probably be difficult, how do you do that and still maintain access to the condos? The blue line under Milwaukee probably complicates things further.

Hopefully they can refurbish and then reuse the old bridge, rather than replacing it or just bypassing it on Kinzie Street.

Lastly, does anybody happen to know where the right-of-way ends? It used to go all the way to navy pier, but obviously it doesn't go that far anymore. Does it pretty much dead end at the NBC tower?


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