Red Line riders have something to look forward to in the coming years.
Chicago Transit Authority officials announced Thursday plans for rehabbing five North Side stations and building a long-awaited South Side extension. The projects are part of the first phase of the city's Red and Purple Modernization program.
The stations at Wilson, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr were specified for the rehabilitation, which could begin as early as 2017. The five stations are among the oldest, having been built between 1908 and 1923.
The CTA also announced plans to build a Red-Purple Line bypass north of Belmont to eliminate delays and speed up train service where the Red, Purple and Brown Lines intersect.
On the South Side, the CTA plans to extend tracks for 5.3 miles and add four new Red Line stations south of 95th Street. Stops would be located at 103rd, 111th, 115th and 130th Streets, and up to 2,000 “Park and Ride” spaces would be added.
No date has been set to begin the construction of the new stations, but plans for the route have been narrowed down to three options. The first option is to build tracks parallel to the Union Pacific freight tracks from 98th Street to 130th Street. The second option is to build elevated tracks above Halsted Street. The final option is to build a bus-rapid transit route to 130th Street.
Last year, the CTA closed nine Red Line stops south of Roosevelt Road as part of the Red Line South Track Renewal Project. The $425 construction project repaired the crumbling tracks and reduced commute times.