Update: CTA platform, bus terminal closures start Monday in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
The outbound Blue Line platform of the Jefferson Park CTA Transit Center will be closed for three weeks beginning at 4 a.m. Monday, Oct. 1, and the north end of the bus terminal will be closed through February beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, as part of a $25 million renovation.
Weekend work on the Blue Line platform will be done the weekend of Sept. 28, but commuters are expected to have full access to outbound and inbound trains during that weekend, said CTA spokesman Jon Kaplan.
The transit agency unveiled its construction schedule for the project at a Sept. 24 community meeting that CTA officials and Alderman John Arena (45th) held at the Copernicus Center Annex, 5214 W. Lawrence Ave.
CTA construction general manager Steve Mascheri said that commuters seeking to board at Jefferson Park and take the Blue Line toward O’Hare International Airport would have to take the train south to the Montrose stop, exit and then board an outbound train to O’Hare. The outbound trains will be going through the Jefferson Park station but not stopping.
Beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, the outbound platform will re-open, but the inbound platform will then be closed for three weeks. Commuters seeking to go from Jefferson Park toward the Loop will have to take an outbound train to the Harlem stop, exit and then board an inbound train.
The CTA does not plan to provide shuttle buses to take riders to the Montrose or Harlem stations. Shuttles are usually provided only when a platform is closed for both outbound and inbound trains at the same time, Mascheri said.
During the closure of the north end of the CTA bus terminal, some bus stops will be relocated to the south portion of the terminal, and others will be moved to Milwaukee Avenue in front of the terminal.
The 68 Northwest Highway, 81W West Lawrence, 85A North Central and 88 Higgins will be the routes where riders will board and exit on Milwaukee.
Plans call for West Gale Street that runs along the north end of the terminal to remain open to traffic during the construction, but parking is being eliminated on a permanent basis there. The meter boxes were recently removed from Gale.
After work is done on the north half of the bus terminal, the south end of the terminal will then be closed for several months until construction there is completed.
CTA representatives will be at the terminal distributing informational fliers on the closures and answering questions from Thursday, Sept. 27, to Tuesday, Oct. 2, Mascheri said.
The project includes installing wider bus loading islands that are handicapped accessible, new signage and LED lighting, and the entire pavement in the bus terminal is being replaced.Arena said that despite the inconveniences during the construction, the renovation is long overdue and will be an improvement for the area.