I was honored to host Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin in the 49th Ward Friday to officially announce improvements to the Morse and Jarvis “L” stations that will take place this summer and fall.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Mayne Stage on Morse Avenue, just steps from the Morse “L” station, and marked the official start of an $86 million project that will involve seven Red Line Stations. In addition to the Morse and Jarvis stations, the Granville, Thorndale, Berwyn, Argyle and Lawrence “L” stations will also undergo significant rehabilitation.
Joining me at the press conference were (left to right) Senator Durbin, Governor Quinn,State Senator Heather Steans (partially hidden behind me), 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman, State Representative Sarah Feigenholtz, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson and Mayor Emanuel. Also present, but not in the photo, were CTA President Forrest Claypool, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney and 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman.
I first revealed the rehabilitation plan in February and hosted a community meeting in March to discuss the details.
The project work at the Morse and Jarvis stations will include viaduct repairs, platform repairs or replacement, station water proofing, lighting improvements and new station house finishes, such as floors, doors, windows and lighting. These improvements will increase the safety and comfort of CTA passengers, while enhancing the appearance of the station and surrounding structures.
The Morse and Jarvis stations are among the oldest in the system. They were first opened in 1908, which was the last year of President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration and the last time the Cubs won the World Series. As Mayor Emanuel noted, both the stations and the Cubs are in serious need of rehabilitation.
The project is intended to extend the life of the rail stations until implementation of theRed and Purple Line Modernization Project, which calls for massive rebuilding of the entire Red Line north of Belmont. The Modernization Project is currently in the early stages of planning and will require several more years of planning and identified sources of funding.
Preliminary work will begin in late April with temporary station closings taking place this summer and fall. The closings are scheduled to last no more than six weeks. The Morse station is scheduled to be closed from Friday, June 29, to no later than Friday, August 10, and the Jarvis station will be closed from Friday, November 9, to no later than Friday, December 21.
I asked the CTA to look into possibly switching the date of the Morse station closing with the date of the Jarvis closing. I was concerned a mid-summer station closing of the Morse station could potentially impede the success of the Glenwood Sunday Farmers’ Market, which operates on Glenwood between the Morse and Lunt every Sunday from June through October.
Unfortunately, the CTA could not accommodate my request. Extensive work on the tracks at the Jarvis station must be completed first before the Jarvis station work can begin. Switching the order of the station repairs would delay the overall project by several months and result in cost overruns. I will work with the CTA to ensure the Morse station rehabilitation is done as quickly as possible and disruption to the Market kept to a minimum.
During the time the Morse station is closed, the CTA advises Morse station users to board the #155 Devon bus from Morse Avenue to the Loyola station. Fortunately, the stations on the far north side of the Red Line are located fairly close together and the CTA is not planning to close the Morse and Jarvis stations at the same time. In lieu of taking the bus, Morse station commuters also have the option of walking to either the Jarvis or Loyola stations, which are both approximately 0.7 miles from the Morse station (about a 14 minute walk).
Jarvis station commuters can walk either to the Howard station which is about 0.4 miles to the north (about a 7 minute walk) or the Morse station with is about 0.7 miles to the south (about a 14 minute walk). Hopefully, you will agree the station improvements are worth the inconveniece of a six-week closure.
For more information on the North Red Line station improvements, including the scope of the repairs and commuting alternatives, visit:
In the meantime, I will keep you informed of any changes to the construction schedule and remind you of the station closures as they approach.
P.S. In addition to the Morse and Jarvis station improvements, the CTA is planning a major rehabilitation of the Loyola “L” station, which is scheduled to begin later this year. Loyola University is subsidizing some of the work on the Loyola station, including a new plaza adjacent to the station. I’d like to remind you I’m hosting a community meeting on the plaza proposal tonight (Monday April 30th), 7 p.m. at the Centennial Forum Student Union, Bremner Lounge, 1125 W. Loyola (at Sheridan Road). For more information on the plaza proposal visit: