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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Blue Line Trains To O’Hare Will Bypass Jefferson Park Stop Beginning Monday

The bypass, expected to last three weeks, is part of a $25 million construction project.

Rendering of what the Jefferson Park bus and train stop will look like once construction is complete.
Rendering courtesy CTA
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JEFFERSON PARK  — Commuters who use the Jefferson Park Blue Line station should make alternate plans for the coming weeks, as construction on the station is set to begin Monday.

As part of a $25 million renovation project, the nearly 50-year-old train and bus station near the Kennedy Expressway will experience temporary closures as crews get to work.

And while businesses will be open in the area during construction, some street parking along Milwaukee Avenue will be restricted in order to make room for temporary bus stops.

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“The initial timetable for this project was moved back a few days,” said Owen Brugh, Ald. Arena’s chief of staff. “Initially they were going to begin work on Friday.”

Starting next Monday, all outbound trains headed towards O’Hare Airport will bypass the northbound side of the Blue Line platform at Jefferson Park. The bypass is expected to last for three weeks once construction begins.

Commuters who need to travel in the direction of O’Hare can take a southbound Blue Line train at Jefferson Park in order to get to the Montrose stop and catch an outbound train headed to O’Hare.

Once crews begin their work, the North Bus Terminal at the station will also change where passengers board or exit buses at the Jefferson Park station.

During construction the #68, #81W, #85A and #88 buses will now service customers along Milwaukee Avenue. Other buses will be dropping of or picking up passengers in the open South Bus Terminal, including the #56, #81, #85, #91, #92, and Pace bus routes #225, #226 and #270.

Then on Oct. 19, crews are expected to start work on the other side of the tracks so Blue Line trains heading south, to the Loop and Forest Park, will bypass Jefferson Park for approximately three weeks.

During this phase of construction commuters are being asked to take outbound trains north to the Harlem stop, exit their train, then board an inbound train to continue their trip south to the Loop.

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“This station is a vital transit link for the northwest side and this project will allow us to provide our customers with a much-improved travel experience,” said Dorval R. Carter, CTA’s president. “By adding these modern amenities and enhancements, Jefferson Park will be a model for what a modern rail and bus terminal can be.”

Improvements to the Jefferson Park station include making the bus terminal ADA compliant by widening its loading islands and adding audio assistance, adding new bus and rail station canopies and improved signage.

New LED lighting and additional security cameras will be added to increase public safety. Another upgrade will be custom windbreaks at the bus terminal, with designs provided by Indiana-based artist Jamie Pawlus.

The Jefferson Park train and bus station was originally built in 1970 as an extension of the Milwaukee “L” and was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, according to CTA.

It is the fourth busiest station along the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line and had over 2.1 million commuters pass through it in 2017. Its last major renovation was in 2000 when wheelchair accessibility was added.

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