Rehabbed Southport station opens soon

The Chicago Transit Authority's Southport El stop is set to reopen later this month after a year-long renovation.

The completion of the facelift is another benchmark in the  CTA's $530 million Brown Line Expansion Project. The project began in 2006. It expands capacity along that route to accommodate a ridership that the CTA says has increased 83% since 1979.

When Southport opens March 30, other Brown Line users will see a change in their daily routines. The agency will begin renovations on the Wellington and Paulina stations.

At the same time, the CTA will begin track work on the Red, Brown and Purple lines between Fullerton and Belmont. The project, which will add two additional tracks, is expected to cause significant delays.

The original Southport Station, 3411 N. Southport Ave., opened  May 18, 1907, as part of the Northwestern Elevated. It has changed little since then.

The Southport improvements include longer platforms that accomodate eight-car trains, security cameras, wheelchair accessible turnstiles and elevators.

Other newly remodeled stations include Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell, Western, Montrose, Addison and Sedgwick.