The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) celebrated the completion of 18 station renovations as part of the agency's $530 million Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project.
Belmont and Fullerton — the final two stations to complete construction — were rebuilt in the same locations and now include elevators for customers with disabilities making 91 of the CTA's 144 rail stations now accessible. CTA preserved the two historic stationhouses at each station and relocated them across the street to serve as secondary entrances.
On Saturday, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson and CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez joined federal, state and city officials at the Fullerton rail station for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the project completion.
The Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project was designed to relieve congestion, provide for future growth by increasing capacity, and improve service delivery, safety and customer comfort. The project also made the Brown Line accessible to all CTA customers, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
As part of the expansion project, platforms at 16 stations were extended to provide space for eight-car trains resulting in a one-third increase in capacity over the six-car configuration. Eight-car train operation began on March 30, 2008.
In addition to station renovations, the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project included building a new substation and rehabilitating an existing substation to supply the additional power needed to power eight-car trains; installation of a new signal system at Clark Junction — the location where Brown, Red and Purple Express trains merge just north of the Belmont station; and the rehabilitation of the Clark Tower facility at the junction.
Funding for the Brown Line capacity expansion project was made possible through a combination of federal and non-federal funds. In 2004, the CTA was the recipient of a federal Full Funding Agreement Grant totaling $245.52 million.