A stretch of the CTA Blue Line on the Near West Side will close this weekend as construction to modernize the Forest Park Branch of the rail line continues.
The Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations will be closed between 10 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Monday. The Racine station, which closed over the summer, will remain shuttered.
Blue Line trains will only operate between Forest Park and the Illinois Medical District stations on the West Side, and between the La Salle and O’Hare stations.
The Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations will reopen Monday. The Racine station will remain closed until Oct. 8, when the Forest Park Branch will be fully operational for the first time since July.
The three stations closed this weekend were also shuttered for construction throughout parts of July and August before UIC-Halsted and Clinton reopened.
Free shuttle service will be available between the Illinois Medical District and Jackson stations during the closure.
Fares are also being reduced by half for riders on specific routes. The discounted fares apply to those boarding the Green Line between Harlem/Lake and Ashland; Pink Line commuters between 54th/Cicero and Ashland; and for Blue Line riders between Forest Park and the Illinois Medical District.
The CTA has been working to rebuild nearly 3 miles of track on the Blue Line’s Forest Park branch to the West Side.
The $268 million project includes rebuilding seven stations to make the entire Forest Park branch mobility-accessible. That includes reconstruction of the Racine station, which will have one of its entrances closed until its expected completion in late 2024.
Rebuilding the tracks will eliminate the nearly 80% of the branch considered restricted “slow zones,” which require trains to run at reduced speeds for safety, according to the CTA.
The Blue Line’s Forest Park Branch was built in 1958, and despite routine maintenance and “modest” upgrades over the years, much of its infrastructure is original and “far beyond its useful life,” the agency said.
The project also will upgrade the traction power system “to support the electrical needs of modern railcars to meet current and future ridership demands,” the CTA said.