Thursday, August 10, 2006

Trainwreck

The CTA's Brown Line runs through the middle of my district. And it has been integral to the revitalization of many of the neighborhoods that it serves.

But since the announcement of the project to update and expand the Brown Line stations was made about eight years ago, the project has been mired in misrepresentations, cost overruns and delays.

So unfortunately, today's announcement that portions of the project are going to be delayed at least another six months comes as no real surprise.

These delays will mean that work that was supposed to be completed next February will now stretch through at least another summer. Which means another summer of inconvenience for the tens of thousands of riders who rely on the Brown Line, and another summer of business disruption for local merchants.

More problematic is that there is a sinking sense that this won't be the last of the bad news for the project:

CTA Board Chairwoman Carole Brown didn't sound any more reassured after Wednesday's board meeting. "I still don't think I have a full picture of exactly when and if there are going to be significant delays," she said. "I'm still waiting to see where progress on the project really is."

Most inexplicable is the following statement.

CTA President Frank Kruesi, meanwhile, insists that the delays outlined Wednesday will not keep the CTA from completing the entire project by 2009.

That's just swell. To tell people that the fact that this project will delayed again still means that it will done within the next three years is simply unbelievable. And unacceptable.

UPDATE: In fairness to the CTA, they are announcing tomorrow that the Rockwell station will reopen next Wednesday, August 16th. The unexpected closing of the station created some serious disruption to the community, and its reopening is welcome news.

1 Comments:

At August 11, 2006 at 12:14 AM, Anonymous silentk said...

The reopening of Rockwell is indeed welcome news. Our small, yet vibrant community seems to have survived - but we'll know more once the foot traffic resumes.

We are very fortunate to be ahead of the budgetary catch up, and construction slow downs (no construction permits!!??) which is now occurring on this project.

Incredible, yet not surprising that Chairman Brown doesn't know what's going on ("I'm still waiting to see where progress on the project really is.")

Makes you wonder if dividing the project into separate packages was only diversionary... in order to hold off divulging cost overruns until later in the project?

Now, more than ever, we are in need of accountability legislation. Hoping to see which Representative will be able to step up to the plate and sponsor HB4663, in Representative McKeon's absence.

 

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