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Blue Line overhaul project begins this weekend

The four-year, $492 million project to overhaul the O'Hare branch of the CTA Blue Line starts this weekend with temporary track closures between the Western and Logan Square stations, the transit agency said Thursday.

The track closure will start at 10 p.m. Friday and end by 4 a.m. Monday.The CTA will provide free shuttle bus service and free transfers back into rail stations.

Shuttle buses will stop at each station affected by the track closure – Western, California and Logan Square -- to pick up and drop off passengers. For customers with disabilities, shuttles will provide service to the closest accessible station.

The California station will be temporarily closed. The Western and Logan Square stations will remain open, officials said.

There will be an overnight street closure on Fullerton and Sacramento Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and intermittent, alternating daytime closures of Fullerton and Sacramento on Saturday and Sunday.

The next track closure, between Western and Damen, is scheduled for April 4 and normal Blue Line service will resume April 7, the CTA said.

Other stretches of the O'Hare branch, between Grand and O'Hare International Airport, will close for track replacement and station modernization over eight additional weekends through August, officials said.

The modernization is sorely needed on the project's 12.5-mile section between the Grand and O'Hare stations. Blue Line trains must reduce speed to as little as 15 mph, instead of the normal 55 mph maximum, on numerous stretches due to deteriorated track. 

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter @jhilkevitch

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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