Walsh starts work on $42 million in CTA Blue Line projects

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new blue groundbreaking
At the May 22 New Blue groundbreaking (Walsh Group Twitter feed)

Walsh Construction has started work on the next two major Blue Line station improvement projects, as part of Chicago’ $492 million Your New Blue program – the $17 million Belmont Blue Gateway project and the $25 million renovation and modernization of the Jefferson Park Transit Center, totalling $42 million.

“The Blue Line is in the midst of its largest modernization since it was extended to O’Hare over four decades ago, and today marks a major milestone in that progress,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in May 22 statement. “By keeping the CTA moving forward we are keeping Chicago moving forward, creating good-paying jobs and ensuring our future is even brighter than our past.”

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) also previewed station projects set to begin later this year at Division, Chicago and Grand in the Blue Line subway. In all, Your New Blue will rehab 14 stations along the O’Hare branch.

This will be the first time Belmont Blue has undergone a major renovation since it opened nearly 50 years ago, while Jefferson Park gets its first major upgrade since 2001.

Some $17 million in upgrades to the Belmont Blue Line terminal will include the addition of a new architectural steel canopy for the terminal, designed by the Chicago architecture firm Carol Ross Barney. The canopy will create a community gateway for the station and the neighborhood and will visually enhance the street-level entrance to the subway station.

The work at the station providing 1.8 million train rides in 2017 is expected to provide more than 45 on-site construction jobs.

Meanwhile the $25 million Jefferson Park Transit Center rehabilitation project will almost 70 direct, on-site construction jobs, CTA says.

Project work at Belmont Blue is scheduled for completion in late 2018, followed by the completion of work at Jefferson Park in mid-2019.

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