The Damen and California Blue Line stations will temporarily close for multiple weeks this fall under a preliminary station construction plan the CTA unveiled Thursday.

The $33 million station work, which is expected to include stationhouse and platform renovations, is slated to last August through January. The upgrades are part of the CTA's four year, $492 million project to improve the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line.

The Damen station will close for no more than 63 days, while the California stop will close for no more than 42 days, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. The Damen and California stops will not be closed at the same time, Chase said.

The Western stop on the O'Hare branch, which is expected to receive less extensive renovation, will remain open during the work.

"In order to renovate and improve these stations as quickly and efficiently as possible, the CTA will temporarily close two stations for a short term to quickly address much needed upgrades and maintenance work to provide more comfortable and modern stations that our customers deserve," Chase told RedEye.

The CTA said it expects to present a final construction schedule by early July. The agency is scheduled to present station renderings at a community meeting Thursday.

The Damen and California stationhouses, which both opened in 1895, will receive improved signage, lighting, flooring, new interior wall and ceiling finishes, restored exterior masonry walls and other work, the CTA said.

On those platforms, the CTA wil restore guardrails, replace wood decking and install safety tactile edging. Other enhancements include new benches and bike racks and repainted canopies.

The construction will not make those two stations, currently inaccessible for riders with disabilities, accessible.

The Damen stop saw 2.1 million entries last year, and an average of 6,625 riders per weekday. The California stop recorded 1.5 million entries last year, and an average of 4,970 riders per weekday, according to CTA data.

The Western station, which was reconstructed in 2001, will receive new lighting, painting, a new canopy and other improvements, the CTA said. The Western stop logged 1.5 million entries last year, and 5,066 riders on an average weekday.

As part of the O'Hare Blue Line project, the CTA has been closing parts of the branch on some weekends this year to ease slow zones.

The agency will close the tracks between the Western O'Hare and Logan Square stops 10 p.m. Friday through 4 a.m., and June 6-9, June 20-23, July 25-28 and Aug. 8-11.

Track work began in March and is expected to be completed in September.

The agency shuttered nine South Side Red Line stations for five months last year for improvements. In 2012, the CTA closed seven North Side Red Line stations for six weeks on a rolling basis for upgrades in an $86 million project.

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page