The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) reopened the newly renovated and modernized Damen Blue Line Station. Damen is among the first three of 13 stations that are receiving station improvement work as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $492 million “Your New Blue” program.
The Your New Blue project is the largest investment in the Blue Line’s O’Hare branch since it opened 30 years ago and is providing faster commutes, more reliable service and a more welcoming environment for Blue Line riders. In addition to rehabilitating 13 stations, Your New Blue includes repairing track infrastructure and upgrading power and signal systems along the O’Hare branch, which serves about 80,000 passengers each weekday. Your New Blue is part of more than $5 billion of transit investment begun under Mayor Emanuel since 2011.
The Damen station was modernized throughout to increase comfort for passengers and historic features of the station, which was built in 1895, were preserved. Earlier this fall, a major renovation of the California station was completed. Improvements to the Western-O’Hare station, which underwent a major rehabilitation in 2001, are expected to be completed in early January. All three stations were built in 1895.
The more than $13 million of improvements at the historic Damen station, completed on time and on budget, include new architectural lighting, new roofing, improved signage, additional turnstiles and wider gates, refurbished walls, stairs and platforms, new bike racks and a larger stationhouse footprint.
All three stations will receive new, original public artwork scheduled for installation in fall 2015 at California and Western, and next winter at Damen.
The Your New Blue station work follows extensive track upgrades completed last summer between the Damen and Logan Square stations to increase train speeds and improve reliability.
In December 2013, the CTA and Mayor Emanuel announced Your New Blue, the most ambitious service improvement project on the Blue Line that will benefit more than 80,000 customers who use the O’Hare branch each weekday. The O’Hare branch had 25 million rides last year.