CLEVELAND, Ohio - The RTA closed the infamous S-curve on the Red Line Sunday between West 117th and West Boulevard to start major rehabilitation work on the nearly 3,000 foot section of the track, built in 1955.
For decades the curve area has plagued the tracks because of bad drainage. Portions of the track are constantly wet, and water flows from one section of track to another. The entire drainage system must be cleaned, with certain portions needing to be replaced. A slab that supports track at the west end of the curve will also be replaced.
The retaining walls and one bridge abutment require repairs and strengthening. New rails, ties and ballast (the stones that support the ties) will ensure that the track is maintained, with periodic maintenance that does not interrupt service. Finally, the overhead power system will be adjusted to best align with the new tracks.
Commuters on the Red Line will need to exit the train at West 117th, board a bus and re-board the train at West Blvd./Cudell, heading east into Downtown. The same is required heading back west throughout the duration of this project. Red Line trains will run three-car trains every 15 minutes in coordination with buses for with this project.
However, to make matters worse, RTA is re-doing the Airport tunnel, so riders are already being bussed between the Airport and the Brookpark station.
While this is a short ride, it may add a few minutes to a daily commute. RTA apologizes for the inconvenience but knows this upgrade will be a huge benefit in the long run.
"This is a vital upgrade to our Red Line rail system focusing on infrastructure, drainage, rails, ties, ballasts and overhead power system," said Joe Calabrese, CEO & General Manager, RTA. "We understand this is an inconvenience for our customers over several weeks, but we are proud to be able to make this investment in improving the S-Curve area of the Red Line for many years into the future."
The $7 million restoration and improvement of the "S-Curve" Red Line rail track is expected to be completed by June 7.
Riders can check www.riderta.com for timetables, schedules and route information or call the RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500.