95th Street Station Project Heads Into Home Stretch With New Pedestrian Bridge

Rendering of the new station, including the sky bridge.
Rendering of the new station, including the sky bridge.

South Siders who have been dealing with construction for the $280 million 95th Street Red Line station rehab for the last three years will be glad to hear that the project is hitting a major milestone. A new pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south terminals will be erected this weekend, which suggests that work on the station will wrap up by the end of this year as scheduled.

The south terminal, located on the south side of 95th, opened to bus and rail service on April 15. This summer workers demolished the old station, on the north side of the street, and started construction of the new north terminal. The new bridge will stretch 150 feet across busy, eight-lane 95th Street to provide a car-free, weather-protected route between the two facilities.

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The beginnings of the new north terminal, as seen in late August. Photo: James Porter

On Sunday, crews will use two large cranes to lift the bridge into the air and connect it to the north and south terminals. The span will be installed in three large sections, each weighing more than 73,000 pounds.

This portion of 95th will be closed to all traffic from 11:30 p.m. this Saturday to 11:30 p.m. Sunday.  During this time CTA customers and pedestrians who need to walk east or west on 95th will be rerouted around the open south end of the South Terminal, along the bus area’s sidewalks. Drivers will be detoured along Halsted Street, 87th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. Wayfinding signs will guide CTA customers, pedestrians and motorists during this period and customer assistants will also on hand to help people with navigation.

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Locations of the temporary bus stops during the 24-hour closure of 95th Street.

During the street closure, the stops for nine CTA bus routes will be temporarily relocated to allow the CTA to continue construction work on the brand new 95th Street Terminal now under way. The affected routes are: N5, N9, 29, 34, 95, 111, 112, 115 and 119. For details on these reroutes, see the map above or visit this page on the CTA website.

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Rendering of the tapestry installation area.

Customer using new bridge will eventually feature local artist Theaster Gates’ installation titled “america, america,” consisting of two large tapestries made from colorful strips of fire hoses and galvanized steel, an apparent reference to the hoses turned on marchers during the African-American civil rights movement and the bars of jail cells. The CTA says the tapestries will reflect “the importance of the civil rights movement and the struggle and acknowledgement that the work of equity and equality is an ongoing effort not carried by one people, but by all.”

  • Bruce

    The man’s name is Theaster, not Theater.

  • Anne A

    On Wednesday night I was at the station to transfer from a train to a bus and saw guys still at work around 9 p.m. They were working on some stairs that approach the skybridge.

  • what_eva

    The bridge seems like overkill to me. Riders exiting the train can do what people do at every freaking other stop do, take the correct stairs to the street.

    And if they haven’t, and get to street level and realize they’ve exited at the wrong place, are they really going to go back in and take the bridge? I would guess not.

  • Bjorn

    It’s more for bus-to-bus connections. Without the bridge, a customer who alights at a stop at the southern terminal and needs to board a second bus departing from the northern terminal would have to either cross the eight lanes of 95th Street at grade or pay an extra rail fare just to use the Red Line platform.

  • what_eva

    Seems like it would have been dramatically cheaper to have added a crosswalk.

  • Anne A

    I guess you’ve never tried to cross 95th St. at the Dan Ryan – a hazardous experience at best. If you cross there, you’re competing with traffic going to/from the Dan Ryan, bus traffic, truck traffic – lots of lanes of traffic. Try playing a real life game of Frogger there sometime and you might change your mind. Just my $0.02…

  • rduke

    Narrow the street and slow the traffic then. Pedestrian bridges are an expensive solution to an expensive problem.

  • Anne A

    Good luck with that at this location. I assume that you are unfamiliar with it.

    This is a very busy interchange with a huge volume of traffic. Those lanes are filled up for much of the day. Having dealt with this nightmare of an intersection for years, I’d much rather have the skybridge.

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Last year, the CTA completed the $425 million South Red Line reconstruction and last week the agency provided an update on the $203 million rehab of the Red Line’s Wilson stop. This morning, local politicians broke ground on another massive project to improve the backbone of the ‘L’ system: the $240 million reconstruction of the line’s 95th […]