The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has begun modernisation works on two major Blue Line stations as part of its $492m Your New Blue programme.

The plan involves the Belmont Blue Gateway project and the modernisation of the Jefferson Park Transit Center.

The Jefferson Park and Belmont Transit Centers are respectively the fourth and seventh busiest stations on the O’Hare branch, serving as important transit connections for the Northwest Side of Chicago.

CTA president Dorval R. Carter Jr said: “The modernisation of the Belmont and Jefferson Park Transit Centers will not only improve the CTA travel experience for those who live and work on the Northwest Side, but these projects will create architecturally significant and visually appealing stations that enhance the character of their respective neighbourhoods.”

Belmont Blue, which is set to receive its first major renovation since opening 50 years ago, will see the addition of a new architectural steel canopy for the terminal.

“These projects will create architecturally significant and visually appealing stations that enhance the character of their respective neighbourhoods.”

The $17m project will feature a modernisation of the bus arrival and departure areas, the installation of enhanced communications systems, an upgraded public announcement system and the deployment of additional windbreaks and people heaters that will enhance customer comfort.

It is expected to create around 200 jobs and over 45 direct on-site construction jobs.

The $25m Jefferson Park Transit Center Improvement Project aims to create a modern terminal that will facilitate navigation within the station compound.

It features the installation of additional cameras to increase the safety of commuters, the replacement of the adjacent bus terminal, the deployment of modern canopies, as well as the installation of new signage, LED lighting and refurbished platform surfaces.

The overall Jefferson Park project is estimated to create around 325 jobs, including nearly 70 direct on-site construction jobs.