By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
1:05 PM CDT, July 16, 2012
This summer, some CTA riders have endured station closures, bus reroutes and slow zones during Chicago's most trying season of the year: construction season.
The Granville stop reopened Friday after a six-week closure for renovations as part of a North Side Red Line project that shuttered the Morse stop last month and will close the Argyle and Thorndale stations next month.
Downtown commuters saw another set of bus reroutes begin Monday morning for the Wacker Drive reconstruction project. And let's not even talk about slow zones, which plagued nearly 13 percent of the system last month.
Nicole Gates, 25, said she's experienced inconvenience, too, because of CTA construction—without even riding the system.
Gates lives near North Center's Addison Brown Line stop, where a rider sustained minor injuries last month on the platform during rush hour. The station closed overnight as crews tried to repair floor boards.
Gates said she's lost sleep because of the weeks-long overnight construction, which she said lasts until 4 a.m.
"This includes jack hammering, drilling and (my personal favorite) dropping old wood from the platform down [to] the ground right next to my bedroom," Gates wrote to Going Public about the work, which is expected to be complete in three weeks. "I don't think we can last without sleep for that long."
CTA spokesman Brian Steele said he would check with the construction department to determine if there's a way to mitigate the noise.
The CTA has a few construction projects in the works—most notably, the closure of the southern portion of the Red Line for five months next year.
In community meetings, residents have expressed frustration not just with the hassle of taking shuttle buses instead of the Red Line, but also the impact this construction will have on the community—including to local businesses that operate near the Red Line.
The CTA needs to make sure it works with residents in construction zones to try to lessen nuisances as much as possible—otherwise construction will overtake winter as the worst Chicago season.
End of the trails
A satire site that suggested CTA tracks should be converted into an elevated highway system has been shuttered. The recently created site, railstocartrails.org, called the "L" outdated and promoted faux plans to transform the rails into roads. A GP tipster linked the site to a CTA employee using a pseudonym. Shortly after GP contacted the employee Sunday night, the site and its accompanying Twitter feed were shut down.
Talk to us
What's the greatest annoyance during Chicago construction season? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: Forest Park Blue Line
It's the end of the line at this suburban stop, one of two terminals on the Blue Line. Long lines can be expected at the station, which sees about 4,000 riders on a typical weekday. Repair work on one of the station's escalators is expected to last until Aug. 1, according to a sign posted to the defunct escalator. The CTA is known for taking its time on escalator work. It took weeks to fix a Clark/Lake escalator last summer. The CTA said the staircase next to the escalator hindered its progress. Whatever the reason for the repair delays, the CTA should find a more efficient process for escalator fixes.
Next up: Western Blue Line on the O'Hare branch.
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