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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Logan Square Blue Line Station Getting Upgraded Escalators — But Major Rehab Won’t Begin Until Late 2019

The station has seen explosive ridership growth during morning rush hour since 2002.

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LOGAN SQUARE — If you’ve gotten off the Blue Line at the Logan Square stop recently you may have noticed the station’s escalators are now blocked off for construction.

As part of “routine” maintenance, the CTA is refurbishing the nearly 50-year-old escalators, according to Jon Kaplan, spokesman for the CTA.

Unfortunately for commuters who took this as a sign that more upgrades were coming soon to the notoriously dingy station, which has seen explosive ridership growth during morning rush hour in recent years, it isn’t due for major upgrades until late 2019, according to Kaplan.

That’s when the station is supposed to get a facelift through the CTA’s $492 million Your New Blue plan, which has brought track and station upgrades all along the north branch of the Blue Line since 2014.

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
Logan Square Blue Line’s escalators are undergoing a “routine” facelift.

As part of the renovation project, the CTA is planning to upgrade both the Milwaukee and Spaulding entrances, as well as the station’s electrical system and elevators. The last time the Logan Square station saw a major renovation was in the 1960s, when famous Chicago architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill redid the original 1890s-era station.

CTA officials couldn’t immediately provide a total cost or construction timeline, saying the project is “currently out for bid.”

In neighboring Avondale, though, the Your New Blue plan is in full effect with the renovation of the Belmont station.

The Belmont station, which hasn’t seen major upgrades since it was built in the 1970s, will have a whole new look and feel once construction wraps up at the end of the year.

The $17 million project calls for a new “gateway” canopy designed by architectural firm Carol Ross Barney, new signs, a fresh paint job, a revamped bus turnaround and repairs to the platform surface, as well as electrical upgrades.

Currently, the southbound portion of the platform is closed and isn’t expected to reopen until Sept. 25, Kaplan said.

Between now and the end of the year, the station will be periodically closed on weekends to accommodate for the installation of the new canopy and stair enclosures.

Crews have already taken down the station’s existing canopy so they can replace it with the new canopy. The bus turnaround is closed as part of that work and won’t reopen until December, according to Kaplan.

As for the California station, CTA officials said there’s no work left to be done there — at least not in the immediate future.

Originally built in 1895, the station, which has seen the greatest ridership growth during morning rush hour of any L stop since 2002, was one of the first stations to be renovated under the Your New Blue plan in 2014.

The California and Logan Square stations saw the greatest ridership growth (in terms of number of riders) of any L stop between 2002 and 2017, data show. There were an average of 1,600 more people going through each of the two stations on a weekday in July 2017 compared with July 2002; that’s a growth rate of nearly 110 percent at the California station.

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