CTA Red Line

Historic Lake View East Building Moving for CTA Modernization Project

The reconstruction of the track structure will begin in 2022 after the historic building is moved

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Chicago's historic Vautravers Building is set to relocate just a matter of feet in order for the CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization Project to move forward.

The 127-year-old building, located along Newport Avenue in the Lake View East neighborhood, will be preserved when the track structure north of the Belmont Red Line stop undergoes construction.

“The move is necessary to prepare for CTA’s plan to completely reconstruct and straighten century-old Red and Purple Line track structures north of the Belmont station to provide our customers with a smoother, faster commute on modern infrastructure,” a CTA spokesperson said.

The reconstruction of the 100-year-old track structure will begin in 2022. It is expected to be completed in 2024, the transit agency said.

Here is the timeline of the project:

  • April 2021 – Crews removed various historic elements including limestone cladding and Chicago common brick from the façade. The elements were stored to prevent damage during the move.
  • June 2021 – Excavated around the site and completed selective demolition to clear the way for the moving subcontractor, Wolfe. 
  • July 2021 – Installed temporary bracing, jacking systems, roll beams and hydraulic push ram systems to prepare for the move. 
  • August 2021 – The building move is scheduled to begin on Aug. 2. It is expected to take one to two days to move and adjust the building to the proper location. 
  • Once in its new location, the building will be temporarily secured while crews pour the new concrete foundation around the perimeter and install temporary shoring in the basement. 
  • Once secured on the new foundation, the moving subcontractor will demobilize their equipment, and the building can be restored. 
  • September 2021 – The historic elements will be re-installed onto the building. 

Contractors will relocate the historic property 30 feet to the west toward North Clark Street. 

CTA is hosting a Facebook Live event on the CTA RPM Facebook page showing the building move in very slow increments. There will also be small “Watch Party” spaces located at the corner of West Newport Avenue and North Clark Street, CTA said.

The new bypass and tracks will improve service for Red, Brown and Purple Line customers, CTA said. Phase One is expected to be completed in 2025. 

The RPM Phase One Project includes three major components: 

  • Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, 100% accessible stations and replacement of track structure totaling 6 track-miles that are a century old. 
  • New Red-Purple Bypass construction, expected completion in 2021, followed by the reconstruction of Red and Purple Line track structure between Belmont and Newport/Cornelia. That portion is set to be finished by the end of 2024.
  • Installation of a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that, similar to roadway traffic signals, will improve train flow and service reliability. 

Future phases of RPM have not yet been announced and are currently unfunded. 

For more information, visit transitchicago.com/RPM

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