CTA Unveils Massive Modernization Plan on Red, Purple Lines

The CTA will close four stations and rebuild miles of track as part of one of the most ambitious and far-reaching projects in the agency’s history.

On Friday, the agency unveiled a timeline for the project, which will modernize large sections of the Red and Purple Lines on the city’s North Side. The project, budgeted at $2.1 billion, will completely rebuild four different stations along the line, and will add in a new bypass that will help to improve service and reduce delays throughout the rail system, the agency said in a press release.

The CTA says that the first portions of the project will begin this summer, as workers will relocate utility lines and structures in order to clear room for new foundations to be built for brand-new tracks along the two train lines.

Design work has also begun on the project, leading up to a fall start date for actual construction.

The agency says there are two separate components for what it calls Phase One of the Red-Purple Modernization, or RPM. The first is the construction of the Red-Purple Bypass Project. The bypass will be built north of the Belmont stop, and will also involve the construction of new Red and Purple Line tracks to the north of the proposed bypass.

That project is currently in the design phase, and in the fall of 2019 construction work will begin. Foundation work will last through the summer of 2021, according to the agency’s timeline.

After the foundation is set, track reconstruction will take place on both the Red and Purple Lines beginning in the summer of 2021. Tracks in both directions will be rebuilt between Belmont and Cornelia, and the estimated completion date comes in the summer of 2024, according to the agency.

The other project will also have a massive impact on train riders, as four CTA stations will be completely rebuilt. The Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization project will get underway in the fall of 2019, as track signal work will take place and temporary CTA stops will be built at Argyle and Bryn Mawr.

Once that work is completed during the winter of 2020-21, the Bryn Mawr, Berwyn, Argyle, and Lawrence stations on the CTA Red and Purple lines will close for a period of three years. The temporary stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr will help ease the impact on commuters, and those stations will open in time for the other four closures.

During that timeframe, Red and Purple Line tracks on the northbound side will be reconstructed between Leland and Ardmore. After that reconstruction is completed, the southbound side will be addressed by the agency.

All the while, four brand-new, modern stations will be built at the four closed platforms. Upon completion, all four will feature numerous new amenities, and will be 100 percent accessible, according to the CTA.

The entire project is slated to be completed in the summer of 2025.

Residents can keep tabs on the project by visiting the RPM page on transitchicago.com, or they can email RPM@transitchicago.com for more information.

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