Mayor Emanuel joined CTA President Forrest Claypool, State Representative Kelly Cassidy and me on Morse Avenue this morning to announce the official opening of the newly rehabilitated Morse “L” station.
This marked the second mayoral visit to Morse Avenue in just over three months. Last spring, I hosted the Mayor–together with Senator Durbin and Governor Quinn–to announce the $86 million Red North Interim Improvement project, which includes the rehabilitation of both the Morse and Jarvis Stations.
Following the press conference, President Claypool, State Rep. Cassidy and I toured the new station and fielded additional questions from the media regarding the specifics of the rehabilitation.
The Morse station was closed temporarily for six weeks to allow crews to perform approximately $11 million in repairs to the stationhouse, adjacent retail spaces and surrounding infrastructure. Specific enhancements to the station include:
- Concrete repairs, painting and sealing/coating of the Morse and Lunt viaducts
- New waterproofing and drainage system on the viaducts
- Upgraded lighting under the viaducts
- New track bed, ties and rails on the viaduct and through the station area
- Masonry repairs and new tuck-pointing on the station house exterior
- New windows, doors and exterior lighting on the stationhouse
- New stationhouse interior finishes (i.e., walls, floors and ceilings), lighting and signage
- Improved stationhouse interior layout/circulation
- Sidewalk repairs and new bike racks outside the stationhouse
- New platform foundations, decking, fixtures and furnishings
- Refurbished canopy structure
The Morse station rehabilitation was completed on time and on budget. It is the second of seven stations to undergo rehabilitation and reopen as part of the Red North Interim Improvement project. Similar work will be done at the Jarvis “L” station, requiring the temporary closure of the station from November 9th to December 21st.
The Loyola “L” station also will undergo a facelift under a separate project. Work is scheduled to begin on the Loyola station within a few weeks. The station, however, will not be closed.
In another major piece of good news for CTA rail commuters, the CTA Board recently approved the expenditure of $15 million to address additional slow zones and viaduct repairs. As a result, CTA commuters should experience fewer service disruptions and a reduction of two to three minutes in travel times following the removal of approximately 7,000 feet of slow zones.
I want to thank you for enduring with me the many street closures and service disruptions over the last few months as the Morse station construction proceeded. After seeing the final work product, I’m sure you will agree the inconveniences were well worth it.