Chicago News: Belmont Blue Line Station Gets Major Upgrade
Changes are coming to the 46-year-old Belmont Blue Line CTA station in Avondale. A $15 million renovation project is expected to begin in 2017, according to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
A major aesthetic upgrade to the Belmont Blue Line stop will include a large glass and steel canopy designed by local architecture firm Carol Ross Barney, who also worked on the designs for the 606 Trail and the Chicago Riverwalk Extension. The canopy’s structure, which acts as a community gateway, will provide a spacious covered area for commuters as well as be a visual landmark for the Northwest neighborhood. Mayor Emanuel said the futuristic canopy design “puts Avondale architecturally on the map.”
The canopy will be the highlight of the Belmont Blue Line project and bring forth a unique and modern element that will enhance the character of the ever-evolving neighborhood.
“Projects like this bring notable architecture and design that celebrates and complements the character of our communities, enhance our neighborhoods and bring economic and cultural opportunities to residents and businesses,” said Mayor Emanuel in a statement. “The Your New Blue program has already created notable improvements for Blue Line customers on the O’Hare branch, and now we’re expanding those to the Avondale community. We are committed to continuing our unprecedented investment in creating a world-class transit system.”
Other features added to the Belmont station makeover include a new street-level entrance to the Belmont subway, better bus terminal areas, and a more pedestrian-friendly environment for commuters. The project will also include improvements to the landscape and streetscape surrounding the station, making it an attractive facility for residents and visitors traveling through the city.
Located at 3355 W. Belmont Ave., the station is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the area and is a vital part of the Avondale community. The Belmont stop provides thousands of daily commuters with connections to other lines and parts of the city including the Blue Line, 82 Kimball Bus, and 77 Belmont Bus, which is the fifth-busiest bus line in Chicago, according to city and CTA officials.
The new project will also include prepaid bus boarding pilot program, which CTA began testing earlier this year at the Belmont Blue Line station. With prepaid boarding, commuters can purchase bus fares at the station before boarding the 77 Belmont buses during weekday rush hours in order to improve the efficiency of bus service and boarding.