O’HARE — Blue Line commuters will need to take a shuttle between the O’Hare and Rosemont stations on weekends as the CTA starts a months-long project to replace the rail signal system at the end of the line.
The shuttle service will start 8 p.m. Friday. Crews are scheduled to work on the old rail system 8 p.m. Friday-4 a.m. Monday every weekend until late April, according to a CTA news release.
Blue Line riders going between Rosemont and O’Hare will need to change trains across the platform to continue their trip in either direction, according to the CTA. Regular service will continue between Rosemont and Forest Park.
“This project will help improve Blue Line service by allowing CTA to add trains to meet increased demand and will help improve the reliability of service,” transit agency officials said.
The work, scheduled to last every weekend until late April, is part of the Your New Blue O’Hare Branch Signal Upgrade project, a $207 million, multi-year effort in its final stage after beginning in 2014.
The work will also reduce lanes on the Kennedy Expressway leading to and from O’Hare Airport to a single lane at times overnight, according to the agency.
The tracks and signal system haven’t received upgrades since they were built in the early 1980s, when the Blue Line was extended 8 miles from Jefferson Park to O’Hare.
Blue Line trains along the O’Hare branch have gotten a lot more crowded during rush hour in recent years because the Northwest Side neighborhoods surrounding the stations are attracting people who take the train more.
The O’Hare Branch Signal Upgrade project is the largest component of the $492 million Your New Blue modernization program to provide faster and more reliable commutes along the O’Hare branch of the line.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: