CTA Loop Track Renewal
On April 20, 2012 CTA intitiated one of its biggest 2012 construction projects: renewal of track and rail along the Loop ‘L’ and at two of the busiest junctions on the rail system.
The project will replace more than two miles of elevated rail and track components that were installed in the early 1980s and are nearing the end of their useful life.
The work is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure that’s critical to the city — and includes improvements that will help ensure that CTA continues to serve customers as effectively as possible.
The $33.8 million project is expected to be complete in Fall 2012.
The project will replace about 11,500 feet of rail:
- along the Wells and Van Buren sections of the Loop ‘L’
- the Tower 18 and Tower 12 junctions at Lake/Wells and Wabash/Van Buren, respectively;
- Hubbard Curve, just north of the Merchandise Mart station
- a small portion of elevated track along Wabash between Adams and Van Buren
Most elements in the track bed (rail ties, walkways, etc.) will also be replaced.
Project Benefits: Why are we doing this work?
This project work will help ensure safe and reliable rail service.
The Loop ‘L’ is the heart of the CTA rail system, with five of the eight rail lines traveling through it every weekday. Delays encountered here can create a ripple effect across the entire system. By performing this work now, as preventative maintenance, we’re avoiding future issues that would impact the hundreds of thousands of riders who travel through the Loop every week.
CTA Customer Impacts
To lessen the impact on customers and service, construction work will be primarily limited to weekends. Work will begin late Friday evening and finish prior to the Monday morning rush hour. Some weeknight, overnight work will also occur.
In general, customers can expect trains to undergo reroutes in the Loop on Friday nights (e.g. trains operating only on the inner loop track or outer loop tracks), then on Saturdays and Sundays work will require either reroutes or full closure of portions of track in the Loop.
Specific service impact information will be posted at each affected station a week prior to the start of work. You can also check the ‘L’ Train Service Alerts page for any current or upcoming service change alerts or the Weekend Service Changes page for a complete summary of service changes scheduled for the upcoming weekend (updated Thursday evening before the weekend). You can also have the Weekend Service Changes sent to your email account every Thursday evening by subscribing to CTA Updates.
Weekend work will not occur during several weekend events that impact the downtown area, including Taste of Chicago; Lollapalooza; Blues, Jazz Fests; Air and Water Show; the Chicago Marathon; and others.
In conjunction with work on the elevated structure, some weekend street closures will be required along Wells and Van Buren streets. Some intersections along those streets will also be closed.
Sidewalks will remain open to pedestrians, and access to businesses will be maintained.
Project Areas Map