Semi Jumps Barrier, Lands on CTA Red Line Tracks

Service had resumed hours earlier on Red Line after five-month renovation project

Service on the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line was operating back on schedule Monday morning, hours after a tractor-trailer jumped a cement barrier and landed on the newly-renovated tracks.

Crews worked through the night to do an emergency round of repairs on the outbound right-of-way Red Line tracks near 69th Street on the Dan Ryan Expressway, just north of the 69th Street Station.

The truck driver was not injured in the 10 p.m. crash, but debris from the cement barrier blocked southbound tracks and damaged the third rail. The southern-most portions of the Red Line reopened earlier in the day after five months of an intensive rehabilitation project.

Red Line trains continued to operate between 69th and 79th streets on a single-track while crews did their repair work overnight. Additionally, three lanes of southbound traffic were closed on the expressway, according to authorities.

That portion of track will remain a slow zone on Monday because of the crash, CTA spokesman Tammy Chase said. Repairs were made to make the track usable but crews plan to do further repairs to make the route 100 percent usable by Tuesday.

In 154 days, crews reconstructed a 10.2-mile stretch of track from the ground up -- including the rails, ties, ballast drainage systems and signaling equipment. Stations also got a face-lift, with a new coat of paint, new signs and a deep cleaning. The work was completed on time and on budget, officials said.

Commuters were offered free shuttle service during the project. That service ended with Sunday's reopening.

Still, the work isn’t over on the Red Line South: The CTA will begin construction next year on a new 95th Street terminal at a cost of $240 million.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool greeted commuters at the 95th Street station on Monday morning.
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