Eyes on the Street: The Red Line Without Tracks

Red Line South Reconstruction
Looking north from 26th Street, with the tracks completely removed. ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/ctaweb/sets/72157633546763196/##View more photos##. Photo: CTA.

Friday will mark two months since the Chicago Transit Authority began overhauling and upgrading the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line. The reconstruction is quite visible: A little more than one month into the project, all of the tracks had been removed, and work on the stations was plain to see.

The CTA reported last week that ridership on the shuttles and extended service of local routes indicates that about 90 percent of Red Line riders continue to take CTA, while 9.8 percent are using other means of travel or not making trips. The CTA estimates that almost half of the Red Line passengers switched to the Green Line, 5 percent switched to the Orange Line, and the rest use local routes and shuttles.

Mayor Emanuel and the CTA say the project is on schedule to wrap up by late October. When it’s finished, the CTA expects ridership to bounce back and exceed previous levels, with reconstruction shaving up to 20 minutes off the roundtrip from 95th to Roosevelt.

The Garfield Green Line station is much busier now
The Garfield Green Line station is much busier now, with almost half of Red Line riders using the trains here and many more using the shuttles.

After the jump, more photos of the reconstruction in progress.

Red Line South Reconstruction Work
Making room for an elevator pit at Garfield. Photo: CTA
Mayor, President, Chairman visit Red Line South Project Site @ 6 weeks
CTA president Forrest Claypool, Mayor Emanuel, and board chairman Terry Peterson on the track bed at 47th. Photo: CTA.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Everything You Need To Know About CTA’s Red Line Rebuild

|
The Chicago Transit Authority has begun a series of projects aimed at completely overhauling nearly every part of the Red (and Purple) Line, its longest and busiest rapid transit route. They call these projects “Red Ahead,” and together they should dramatically improve reliability on the line, while also increasing service, adding accessible facilities to stations, […]

Claypool’s Tenure at the CTA Has Been Action-Packed

|
Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool has worn many hats in local government. He twice served as Mayor Richard M. Daley’s chief of staff. He was superintendent of the Chicago Park District. And he’s been a Cook County commissioner. But, arguably, he’s made his biggest mark as head of the transit agency during the last […]

Silver Linings Playbook: Rahm Touts Red Line Shutdown Jobs

|
Closing down the Red Line between Roosevelt Road and 95th Street from May to September this year is a necessary evil. The $425 million Red Line South Track Renewal Project will force South Side commuters to switch to the Green Line and/or temporary shuttle buses during construction, but ripping out and replacing the 10.2 miles […]

The CTA Chalks Up the Red Line South Rehab as a Major Success

|
At a time when the CTA has been coming under fire for the glitchy launch of the Ventra farecard system, today’s ribbon cutting for the Red Line Reconstruction project was a well-earned celebration for the transit agency, and a love fest for local politicians. Many residents and journalists originally questioned the plan to completely shut […]