Suburbanites heading to Chinatown or U.S. Cellular Field by transit next spring will need to come up with a new game plan as the CTA temporarily shuts down nine Red Line stations.
The estimated $425 million project involves a complete track rebuild that should eliminate slow zones and accommodate new state-of-the art train cars, Chicago Transit Authority officials said.
For five months, stations between the 95th Street/Dan Ryan and Cermak-Chinatown stops will shut down. This also includes the 87th Street, 79th Street, 69th Street, 63rd Street, Garfield, 47th Street and Sox-35th Street stations.
Slow zones impact about 40 percent of the Red Line's Dan Ryan Branch, which stretches south from the Loop. The Red Line opened in 1969. In some slow zone areas, the top speed is limited to 15 mph.
If you're a suburban commuter who regularly takes Metra into the city and the Red Line to South Side attractions, such as the White Sox, Museum of Science and Industry or Chinatown, there are other transit options out there next spring.
• To reach Robin, Paulie and A.J, the Green Line also goes to 35th Street with a station aligned with the Illinois Institute of Technology campus that's an easy walk to the ballpark. The Green Line's Clinton station is a short distance from Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center.
• If you're craving dim sum, CTA's No. 62 Archer Bus will take you from the Loop to the heart of Chinatown. Catch it along State Street at Washington Street.
• It's an easy ride to the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago on the No. X28 Stony Island Express, which even has a stop at Union Station.
The work is being paid for through federal, state and local funds. Additional construction will occur on the north Red Line with rebuilds planned for the Wilson and Clark/Division stations.
For more information, go to www.transitchicago.com.