Tag Archives: Blue Line

Damen entrance to IMD Blue Line station closed for construction

(CHICAGO) The Damen Avenue entrance to the Illinois Medical District CTA Blue Line station will be closed for construction for three months.

The closure began Monday and will last until mid-May, according to a statement from the CTA. The station will remain open during the construction and customers will be able to access it via the main entrance on Ogden or the auxiliary entrance on Paulina.

Customers that access the station from the No. 50 Damen bus route can transfer to the No 7 Harrison or No. 126 Jackson buses as alternatives to reach the Paulina entrance, the CTA said.

The station reconstruction project will eventually require the closure of additional entrances before it is finished, according to the CTA. The project will involve the complete reconstruction of the main stationhouse and the addition of an elevator to make it accessible for customers with disabilities.

Makeover of five CTA Blue Line stations complete

(CHICAGO) Mayor Rahm Emanuel showed off the newly renovated Addison Blue Line station Monday and reiterated his pledge to shave 10 minutes off the commute between downtown and O’Hare Airport by the time additional work on the line is completed in 2018.

Addison was one of five CTA Blue Line stations to get facelifts that included new lighting, paint, platform canopies and benches, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. An elevator was also installed at Addison for customers with disabilities. The Irving Park, Montrose, Harlem and Cumberland stations also received makeovers.

The Jefferson Park, Grand, Division, Chicago and Belmont stations are slated for improvement over the next several years, although start dates are yet to be finalized.

The renovations are part of a $507 million Blue Line reconstruction project that includes key track repairs to a stretch of century-old rails between the Logan Square and Damen stops.

The track improvements, along with yet-to-be-completed signal upgrades, will result in big time saving for riders, Emanuel said.

“We’re going to take about 10 minutes off the ride between the airport and downtown and downtown and the airport,” he said.

The trip when the project was announced in 2013 averaged between 45 and 50 minutes.

The Blue Line is ridden about 80,000 times each weekday between Grand and O’Hare. The line’s ridership has increased 25 percent over the past five years, outpacing the growth of the rail system as a whole, CTA President Dorval Carter said at a news conference with the mayor and several aldermen held at the Addison station.

Ald. John Arena (45th) expressed gratitude to CTA workers who put themselves in danger to get the job done.

“We did have an accident here,” he said. “Pearl Hendrix was a CTA worker who, in a tragic accident, lost her life here at this station, and it just illustrates they do this work a lot of time without the acknowledgment of the danger that they’re working on an active train line to keep this up and running for the city without full closures.”

Hendrix, 40, was working as a flagman when she was electrocuted in June after falling on the tracks near the Addison platform.

© Copyright 2016 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Woman gives birth to baby girl at Blue Line station

Paramedics responded to the Blue Line LaSalle Station, where a woman gave birth to a baby girl early Monday. | NVP News

(CHICAGO) A woman gave birth to a baby girl early Monday on the platform at a CTA Blue Line station in the Loop.

Paramedics responded about 2 a.m. when the 26-year-old woman delivered the girl at the LaSalle Station, 150 W. Congress Pkwy., according to Fire Media Affairs Chief Juan Hernandez.

Both the mother and baby girl were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition, Hernandez said.

Work starts Tuesday on new bridge from Jane Addams to Cumberland

(CHICAGO) Construction will start Tuesday on a new flyover bridge connecting the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway to Cumberland Avenue on the Northwest Side.

The bridge will connect eastbound I-90 to Cumberland, spanning over eastbound I-190 and the CTA Blue Line tracks, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Shoulder closures will begin Tuesday on I-190 east of the Des Plaines River and overnight lane closures will be implemented as needed.

The project is part of ongoing improvements to I-90 and I-190 between Cumberland and O’Hare International Airport, IDOT said. The new flyover bridge is expected to be finished by fall 2018.

Bold new design is arriving at Belmont Blue Line stop

(CHICAGO) It’s probably safe to say that the Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side has never seen anything quite like the swooping, airy structure that’s set to replace the boxy Belmont Blue Line subway station entrance and bus terminal next year.

Carol Ross Barney, perhaps best known for the still-evolving River Walk downtown, has designed a “canopy” that will be part of the estimated $15 million project to update the stop, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the design “visionary,” while talking to reporters at the site Monday morning. The design, set amid a sea of flat-roofed retail stores, resembles — based on the sketches — a giant insect wing titled upward.

“This will actually enhance both the architecture vision of Avondale and the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

The project is expected to get under way next year and be complete by mid-2018. In addition to the new canopy, the project is expected to improve the bus arrival/departure areas to speed up bus boarding at the site.

The project is the station’s first major renovation since it opened in 1970. The station provided about 1.8 million train rides last year, according to CTA officials.

Person hit by Blue Line train at Division station

A person was hit by a train early Thursday at the Division Blue Line station in Wicker Park. | Network Video Productions

(CHICAGO) A person was critically injured when he was hit by a CTA Blue Line train early Thursday in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

The male, whose age was not immediately known, was hit by a train at 2:21 a.m. at the Division station at 1200 N. Milwaukee, according to Chicago Police. The incident may have been a suicide attempt.

He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, police said.

Blue Line service was suspended between Damen and Grand, but trains had resumed normal service by 4 a.m., according to the CTA.

CTA to improve Blue Line train station serving hospitals

(CHICAGO) The Chicago Transit Authority is undertaking a $23 million project to upgrade the Illinois Medical District Blue Line train station on the city’s West Side.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. announced Wednesday that renovations will start next month and will continue through late next year.

The busy station is used by patients and employees of four major hospitals. It also serves Malcolm X College and the United Center.

The CTA board has awarded construction contracts to rebuild the main stationhouse on Ogden Avenue, adding an elevator and making other improvements to increase accessibility for customers.

The project is funded through tax increment financing, which allows cities to pay for infrastructure improvements through future increases in property values.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Weekend A-Jenda: June 23rd – 26th

Ray’s Forecast:

  • Friday – Partly cloudy skies. High 82F. Cooler by the Lake. Low 64F.
  • Saturday – Sunshine and some clouds. High around 90F. At night, Variably cloudy with scattered thunderstorms. Low 73F.
  • Sunday – Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the upper 60s.

Click Here for Weekend Traffic Projects
Click Here for Weekend CTA Travel Alerts


White Sox at Home

The White Sox are home this weekend, and they are giving away some really neat things as long as you get there early!
white sox promos june 24

Styx at the Taste of Joliet

Date: Friday, June 24
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Location: ATI Field at Joliet Memorial Stadium

Although Styx plays Friday night in a show with our sister station, 97.9 WLUP, the Taste of Joliet runs all weekend long.

From the website: With 25 food vendors, carnival, kids zone, and headline entertainment, the Taste of Joliet is the highlight of the summer.

Friday, June 24 Noon – Midnight
Saturday, June 25 Noon – Midnight
Sunday, June 26 Noon – 7 PM

Proud to Run 2016

Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Montrose Harbor

From the website proudtorun.org: As part of Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Week activities since 1982, Proud To Run (PTR) is an annual 10K run & 5K run/walk along the lakefront, focused on celebrating pride in and raising funds to support the greater Chicago area LGBTQ community. In 2015 we had a record turnout of more than 1,700 registrants. Overall, more than 2,200 people participated in this year’s event by running, walking, volunteering and sponsoring.

The Proud To Run 10K run & 5K run/walk is organized by an all volunteer, community based board of directors.


Date: Sunday, June 26
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Uptown, Lakeview East, Lakeview

The 47th Annual Chicago Pride parade steps off at noon on Sunday, June 26, from the intersection of Montrose and Broadway in Uptown, and ends near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan in Lincoln Park.

Upwards of 750,000 people line the streets of the north side of Chicago for the event. Pets are welcome, but keep in mind that the rules still apply and open alcohol is not allowed on city streets.

Traffic Alert: Broadway CLOSED between Sunnyside and Diversey.

For more information on the event, click here.

Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party

Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: West Loop

Passion Pit headlines the historic annual block party that benefits area education and outreach programs. The event is in a parking lot on Morgan between Taylor and Roosevelt.

A bags tournament, food trucks and lots of alcohol attract the adult crowd to this 21+ event.

PHISH at Wrigley Field

Date: Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago

LivePhish.com will webcast live from Phish’s 2-Night Sold Out show at Wrigley Field this Friday & Saturday. Shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and there will be additional traffic in the area.

There is a webcast for those who wish to throw a Phish party in their living room. Here is where you are able to get that.

Fountain Square Art Festival

Date: Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday
Location: Evanston

From the official website: The festival takes place in downtown Evanston, just steps from the eponymous Fountain Square. It also features a popular children’s art tent with fun activities overseen by the acclaimed Evanston Art Center, food, and a soothing jazz-centric music lineup.

Saturday night enjoy a beer tasting with tickets for $25 that include 15 tastings.

Traffic Alert: Sherman at Clark Closed
Public Transportation – Purple Line CTA L Train to Davis


Other Events

From Festing.com

Homer Community Fest 06/23/2016 Homer Glen, IL
Rotary GroveFest 06/23/2016 Downers Grove, IL
Summer Solstice Festival 06/23/2016 Yorkville, IL
Galesburg Railroad Days 06/23/2016 Galesburg, IL
Cicero American Fest 06/23/2016 Cicero, IL
Wauconda Fest 06/23/2016 Wauconda, IL
Party in the Park 06/24/2016 Tinley Park, IL
BeachFest – Round Lake Beach 06/24/2016 Round Lake, IL
Northlake Days 06/24/2016 Melrose Park, IL
Champaign Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival 06/24/2016 Champaign, IL
Taste of Joliet 06/24/2016 Joliet, IL
Long Grove Summer Festival 06/24/2016 Long Grove, IL
Fox Lake Fire Department 58th Annual Festival 06/25/2016 Ingleside, IL
Glenview Summer Festival 06/25/2016 Glenview, IL
The World’s Largest Block Party 06/25/2016 Chicago, IL

Traffic and Travel

From TravelMidwest.com: The ramps connecting eastbound I-88 to northbound Farnsworth Avenue and northbound Farnsworth Avenue to westbound I-88 will be closed permanently for removal and detours will be posted. Traffic on eastbound I-88 exiting to northbound Farnsworth Avenue will be detoured via Diehl Road, Eola Road and Butterfield Road. Traffic on northbound Farnsworth Avenue entering westbound I-88 will be detoured via a similar route using Butterfield Road, Eola Road and Bilter Road.

Ramp closures and detours will also be put in place for the ramps connecting eastbound I-88 to southbound Farnsworth Avenue and southbound Farnsworth Avenue to westbound I-88 as work begins to reconfigure the ramps. Traffic for both these ramps will be detoured via Illinois Route 31 and Indian Trail Road. These ramps will reopen this summer.


Roadwork on Illinois 390 at I-290: On Saturday, June 25, one eastbound lane on Illinois Route 390 between Meacham Road and I-290 is scheduled to close at 9 p.m., followed by second lane closure at 11 p.m. to prepare for bridge beam placement. 

At 1 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, a full closure of the ramp connecting Meacham Road to eastbound Illinois Route 390 and I-290 is scheduled and traffic will be detoured. The ramp is scheduled to reopen by 7 a.m. and all lanes are scheduled to reopen by 10 a.m. Sunday, June 26.

Meacham Road Ramp from TravelMidwest.com
Meacham Road Ramp from TravelMidwest.com

Weekend CTA Travel Alerts

Cumberland station service impacts

Jun 24 – 25
10 p.m on Friday to 6p.m. on Saturday
Boarding Change, Delays Between Harlem (O’Hare branch) and Rosemont


From the CTA: CTA offers convenient service for those attending the 2016 Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26. To avoid crowded areas like Belmont, attendees are advised to consider viewing the parade from areas like Broadway, south of Montrose — a short walk from the Wilson and Sheridan stations on the Red Line. For more information, tips and a map and information, visit our Chicago Pride Parade page.

Sun, Jun 26
Increased Capacity/More Frequent Service
Red Line: More frequent service will operate between 95th and Howard every 5 to 8 minutes from 9am to 7pm.
Orange Line: Longer trains will operate between Midway and the Loop, 8am to 6pm.
Brown Line: Longer trains will operate between Kimball and the Loop every 7 to 8 minutes from 8am to 5pm.
Blue Line: Longer trains will operate between O’Hare and Forest Park from 8am to 11pm.
Why is service being changed?
Added service is being provided for the convenience of customers attending the 2016 Chicago Pride Parade.


Jun 24 – 27
10pm Fri to 4am Mon
Trains Rerouted Downtown: Lake and Wabash Closed
How does this affect my trip?
Orange, Green, Pink and Brown Line trains will be rerouted on the west side of the loop.


Big John Howell Show Notes 5-2-16

The Chicago Teachers Union might not be going on strike before the end of the school year. The Chicago Teachers Union has expressed concerns about a potential strike’s impact on teachers’ health insurance and paychecks if a walkout were to continue into the summer break. The soonest teachers could go on strike would be May 16, with little more than a month left in the school year.

Paul Dailing has created a new tour through the city of Chicago, spotlighting the graft and corruption in the city. He thinks people make too much life of our corruption politicians and is trying to shine a light on them. (Listen here)

The confrontation between debt-swamped Puerto Rico and its creditors is intensifying as the U.S. territory will default on payments due Monday. Puerto Rico was expected to default on about $422 million in bonds. Wall Street Journal columnist Stephen Moore joined John with some solutions for Puerto Rico. (Listen here)

A student was attacked on the CTA Blue Line in broad daylight last week. The truly upsetting thing is she says other people on the train just watched as she was beaten. There were at least two other people on the train who did nothing to help her. There have been a number of robberies on the CTA lately, including someone who is robbing lone travelers on the Red Line. Would you help a stranger who was being attacked or would you stay out of it? (Listen here)

John Kasich just can’t win. He did a “promposal” video for a young woman at an event in California. The good news is, the person in question did says yes. The bad news is the young said that both she, and her date will be voting for Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race.

A TV sportscaster in Nashville did a sports report containing a ton of references to Prince in memory of the late artist. The TV station didn’t find it amusing, and actually fired him.

When residents of a city in northeastern Utah noticed two stop signs had gone missing at a busy intersection, they decided to find out why. It turned out the city manager had them removed after he got a traffic ticket because of them.

Person fatally struck by Blue Line train on NW Side

(CHICAGO) A person was fatally struck by a CTA Blue Line train on the Northwest Side during the morning commute Monday.

Paramedics responded to a call of a person struck by a train at 7:04 a.m at the Belmont Station, 3355 W. Belmont Ave., according to Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Frank Velez.

The person was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the fatality, but did not release additional information.

Trains in both directions were only operating between the O’Hare and Jefferson Park stations; and the Western/Milwaukee and Forest Park stations, the CTA said.

Customers were urged to use the No. 56 Milwaukee bus as an alternative and the CTA was providing shuttle buses to provide connecting service through the affected area.

Man struck by Blue Line train downtown, service suspended

(CHICAGO) A man is in critical condition after he was struck by a CTA train during Tuesday’s morning commute downtown, suspending service on the Blue Line.

The man, thought to be in his 40s, was stuck by a train in a tunnel area near the Clark/Lake station at 7:50 a.m., according to Chicago Police.

He was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Police said the incident was an attempted suicide.

Power was shut off in both directions and service is suspended between the Damen and UIC-Halsted stations, CTA spokesman Steve Mayberry said. Shuttle buses are running in the affected area.

Trains are running between Damen and O’Hare, and between UIC-Halsted and Forest Park, according to the CTA.


15-year-old boy charged with sexual assault on Blue Line

(CHICAGO) A 15-year-old boy who turned himself in to police has been charged as an adult with the sexual assault of a 41-year-old woman on a Blue Line train on Monday afternoon.

Deshawn Isabelle faces one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of robbery, both felonies, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. He is scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday.

About 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the teen—whose named was not released by police because he is a minor—went with his guardian to turn himself in to police after seeing his picture in the media, police said.

About 3:10 p.m. Monday, the 41-year-old woman got on an eastbound Blue Line train at the Oak Park Avenue station, police said. Soon after, a male who got on the train at the Forest Park station attacked her from behind.

He knocked her to the ground, sexually assaulted her and then robbed her of her iPhone and cash, police said.

After the attack, he got off the train at Cicero. He then rode a westbound train back to the Austin station, police said.

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed on West Side Blue Line train

Police are searching for a male who sexually assaulted a woman on a Blue Line train Monday afternoon. | Chicago Police photo

(CHICAGO) A woman was sexually assaulted on a Blue Line train bound for the Loop Monday afternoon, according to a newly issued alert from Chicago Police.

About 3:10 p.m., a 41-year-old woman got on an eastbound Blue Line train at the Oak Park Avenue station, police said. Soon after, a male who got on the train at the Forest Park station attacked her from behind.

He knocked her to the ground, sexually assaulted her, and then robbed her of her iPhone and cash, police said.

After the attack, he got off the train at Cicero. He then rode a westbound train to the Austin station, police said.

The suspect was described as a black male, wearing a gray and blue Columbia jacket. He wore blue jeans and gym shoes with green laces, police said.

Anyone with information on the assault is asked to call Area North detectives at (312) 744-8261.