Residents said wrong move to completely shut down Red Line

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Residents who rely on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line said they aren’t convinced it’ll take only five months to renovate the entire South Side strip of the rail line.

Residents who rely on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line said they aren’t convinced it’ll take only five months to renovate the entire South Side strip of the rail line.

“This is just crazy. Yes, the tracks need work and some of the stations need an upgrade, but to close them all, at the same time, that’s just crazy,” said Nita Keith.

The CTA said Monday that it would close nine Red Line stations over 10 miles on the city’s South Side starting in spring 2013. The closures would affect the Cermak/Chinatown station south to 95th Street, the end of the train line. The closures are part of a $425 million track replacement project. The CTA says it’s one of the biggest construction projects in its history.

CTA officials say the closures will let workers finish the project in five months instead of the four years it would take if closures were done only on the weekends. The CTA says it will offer shuttle service, additional buses and discounted rides.

Keith said they should’ve closed a few at a time instead.

“They are going to continue this project until they feel like it. They haven’t told me enough to convince me it’ll only take five months. I’ll say it’ll be close to a year before the stations start to re-open,” she said.

Angela Mason echoed Keith’s sentiments.

“This will cause havoc. The trains are already crowded and now it’s going to be crazy going downtown and back home. It’s going to be worse,” said Mason.

Corey Robinson said he uses the Red Line religiously said it’s going to take some heavy advanced planning for the closures.

“Between working two jobs and going to school, I see my days getting longer and more difficult than need be,” said Robinson.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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