Emanuel announces $492M Blue Line renovation plan - FOX 35 News Orlando

Emanuel announces $492M Blue Line renovation plan

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Transit Authority is planning a nearly $500 million upgrade to a portion of the agency's rail lines that could cut 10 minutes off the time to travel between O'Hare International Airport and the city's downtown.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the four-year improvement project improvement project on the CTA's Blue Line Thursday morning.

"The new Blue reflects the communities that have grown. Ridership is up 25 percent, service will continue with that revitalization," Emanuel said.

Commuters are on the move in Logan Square, taking the Blue Line in both directions, downtown and to O'Hare. Everyone agrees, the CTA's blue Line has its issues - it's old, crowded and it's more than 19-miles long.

"I went to Paris and came back and our system is like from the 70s," one rider said.

City officials say the project would be the biggest investment on the CTA's Blue Line since it was extended to reach the airport. The fastest growing train line between the Loop and O'Hare will remain open during the construction project.

The $492 million renovation will include track and infrastructure improvements, station upgrades and power improvements.

The CTA says this line has seen significant increases in ridership, 25 percent over the last five years.

The CTA's Red Line reconstruction was on a similar scale and budget. But the Red Line was shut down completely last May until its completion in October.

Once completed, the ride between downtown and O'Hare is expected to be 10 minutes faster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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