CTA cancels Blue Line track work date

Car-tastrophe, averted.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said last week drivers should avoid the downtown portion of the Kennedy Expressway for three weekends in June because some expressway lanes will be shut down for bridge demolition work.

The problem is one of those weekends, June 20-23, coincided with the CTA scheduled track shutdown between the Logan Square and Western stops on the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line, which mirrors the Kennedy.

Imagine cars trying to avoid the Kennedy comingling with shuttles trying to replace trains and other heavy summer traffic. The Green Music Fest in Wicker Park and the Renegade Craft Fair Mini Market on the Lower West Side are set for the same weekend.

The CTA said Monday it is canceling that weekend work and will reschedule it to a different time.

"We would let customers know when the rescheduled line cut date would be," CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said.

But there's still bad news, Blue Line riders. The Blue Line track work, which was tentatively scheduled to wrap up in August, will now last into September, Hosinski said.

The CTA has shut down parts of the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line for six weekends for work to ease slow zones. Shuttle buses have replaced trains from 10 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday on those weekends.

The CTA is slated to shut down the Blue Line between Logan Square and the Western stop on the O'Hare branch for four more weekends, including this weekend.

In August, the CTA is expected to begin work on Blue Line station renovation. The agency said it will close the Damen stop for no more than 63 days and the California stop for no more than 42 days. The Western stop will stay open through upgrades. That work is slated to be completed in January.

The work on the Kennedy Expressway is slated for June 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30. Go to www.dot.il.gov/projects.html for more information.

Get in line
In the market to grocery shop by your CTA stop? Farmers market season has begun, and some are near CTA stops. One spot, the Low-Line Market, kicks off Thursday at the auxiliary exit of the Southport Brown Line stop. The market runs Thursday evenings from 3 to 8 p.m. until Sept. 4.

Stationary
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note.

This week: Dempster-Skokie Yellow Line
Officials in April celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Yellow Line. The crown jewel is the Dempster-Skokie stop. For a while, it was the only stop that solely served the Yellow Line, until the CTA opened the Oakton-Skokie station two years ago. The station should serve as a model for future end-of-the-line hubs. There is ample car and bike parking, storm cover and a bus-pickup area that is easy to access from the trains.

Next up: California Green Line

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