CTA terminal rehab set to begin next year
by BRIAN NADIG
Work on a $25 million renovation of the Jefferson Park CTA terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave., is scheduled to start early next year and be completed in 2019.
"I look forward to this overdue facelift to the Jefferson Park terminal and the positive impact that it will have on the ongoing revitalization efforts of Jefferson Park," Alderman John Arena (45th) said in his weekly newsletter.
The CTA recently awarded a design and construction contract to Walsh Construction Company for the project.
"Final designs are not complete, but construction will include newly redesigned canopies for the bus terminal and rail station entryway, and an improved reconfiguration of the bus bays to accommodate those with disabilities and improve pedestrian flow through and around the transit center.
"Other work includes the installation of public art, rehabbing the train platform canopies, repairing and repainting the exterior station walls, new benches, new windbreaks, and new trash bins along the platform," Arena said.
On social media, some posters have called for more bicycle racks at the terminal and for a designated area for motorists to drop off and pick up commuters. Also the Jefferson Park Forward neighborhood group is calling for a redesign of the pedestrian flow at the terminal.
The CTA also has commissioned artist Jamie Pawlus to design artwork which will be installed at the terminal. Some of her previous projects have included repurposing commercial and transportation signage.
The Jefferson Park renovation plan is part of the "Your New Blue" modernization project, which is expected to cost $492 million. Improvements already have been made at the Addison, Irving Park, Montrose, Harlem and Cumberland stations.
Upgrades are also scheduled to be completed by 2018 to the Belmont CTA Blue Line terminal at 3355 W. Belmont Ave. The $17 million project will feature a new architectural canopy designed by Carol Ross Barney, which will serve as a community gateway and enhancing the street-level entrance to the subway station, and improvements to the bus arrival and departure areas such as new lighting, repaved surfaces and new signage to speed bus boarding.
The Jefferson Park station opened in 1970, and at the time it was the most northern stop on the Blue Line, which in the 1980s was extended to O’Hare International Airport.
About 10 years ago, a state grant was used to bring landscaping and other improvements to the terminal. That project included the installation of a Thomas Jefferson statue, which the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce donated to the city.
Meanwhile, a master plan which will serve as a guideline for improvements and redevelopment in the areas surrounding the terminal is expected to be completed next year. A community workshop on the plan will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, at the Copernicus Center Annex, 5214 W. Lawrence Ave.