Imagine Chicago without the L-train system. Many people would be forced to drive, crowd onto buses, or God forbid walk from place to place. The well-publicized neglect and disrepair of America’s infrastructure is something to not be ignored, and while the effects of an aging city can be seen all throughout Chicago, the precious elevated train system is being given priority.
Seeing the importance of the L’s function to keeping Chicago running in perpetual motion, funds were allocated to service and expand the system, starting with the addition of Pink Line service in 2006 and including the completion of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project in 2009, the Red Line South reconstruction project in 2013 and a system-wide slow-zone elimination plan.
Currently, the Your New Blue blue line improvement project that started in 2014 has already paid off with quicker tracks, new platforms and reconstructed station houses. The YNB project has three more years until all the work to the 12.5 miles of track and stations along the blue line is complete.
So far, the direct benefit for Logan Square residents has been a completely reconstructed California Station and incremental improvements that have and will be made at the Western station throughout the four-year YNB project timeframe.
CTA spokesperson Catherine Hosinski says, “They [the CTA] are going to address the water issue.”
One of the next stations on the list for an overhaul is the Logan Square Blue Line stop, which is a good thing considering the leaky nature of the 45-year-old station that opened in 1970. Leaks can be found midway up the escalator on the south side of the Kedzie/Milwaukee entrance, along both walls and coming from the ceiling inside the station and in a few spots above the middle of the platform, most notably the spot above the “Logan Square” sign that has a completely rusted over “G,” a sign that has had icicles hanging from it on some of the very coldest days this winter.
Hearing this come directly from a CTA official is comforting, especially when the known destructive nature of water intrusion and damage in urban areas and in civil engineering projects can cause anything from structural instability to sinkholes. In 2011 the CTA initiated a system-wide station renewal project, and water management to fix and prevent leaks at the Logan Square stop was a priority. Several years later, the priority is still there and the issue is not being ignored.
While Hosinski admits that final plans for the Logan Square stop refurbishment have not been fully outlined, a laundry list of other improvements will be made to the station. This includes upgrading the entrances on the Milwaukee/Kedzie and Spaulding sides, upgrading the elevators, upgrading the power and lighting and possibly incorporating the development of mixed-use residential and retail space with the stop’s upgrades.
When exact details become available and inconveniences to commuters are announced by the CTA, LoganSquarist will be sure to inform readers with updates.