The Chicago Transit Authority is reminding customers that it will temporarily close the California Blue Line station for 42 days beginning at 1 a.m. Thursday, September 4, to allow crews to perform major renovations as part of the Your New Blue modernization program for the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line. The station is scheduled to re-open Oct. 16.
Originally opened in 1895, the California station will see substantial improvements to the station house exterior and interior, platform and other station elements. Work includes structural repairs, painting, new platforms, improved lighting, signage, and new bike racks. The station’s historic features will be preserved and restored. Following completion of the work, the Damen station will receive similar structural and cosmetic repairs. Future phases of Your New Blue will bring improvements to other Blue Line O’Hare Branch stations.
During the temporary closure of the California station, customers will be able to access Blue Line trains from the adjacent Western or Logan Square stations, which are accessible to customers with disabilities. These stations are conveniently served by the #56 Milwaukee bus route, which runs parallel to the Blue Line between Logan Square and downtown. To accommodate customers, the CTA will add more service to the #56 bus route during all service hours on weekdays and weekends. Overnight, customers can connect to Blue Line service via the temporary #N56 California Station Owl route, which will have limited operation, serving only the Logan Square, California and Western stations.
Customers are advised to plan ahead and strongly encouraged to allow extra travel time.
The Your New Blue station work follows extensive track upgrades between Damen and Logan Square this year to increase train speeds and improve reliability. That work that was completed recently ahead of schedule and is also part of the Your New Blue project.
In December 2013, the CTA and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Your New Blue, the most ambitious service improvement project on the Blue Line since it was extended to O'Hare Airport in 1984. The program will benefit the more than 80,000 customers who each weekday use stations along the branch, which had 25 million rides last year. Your New Blue will update a total of 13 Blue Line stations, make elevated and subway infrastructure upgrades, track signal improvements and traction power upgrades.