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Timeline For Red/Purple Line Construction Announced, Some Stations Will Be Closed For Years

The Chicago Transit Authority held Red Purple Modernization (RPM) project community meetings last week with the selected contractors Walsh-Fluor DBT. During the meeting they discussed the scope of work and its timeline.

The RPM project will be the largest public works project our community has seen and will overhaul a 9.6-mile stretch of track structure that is about 100 years old. Once completed riders can expect faster, smoother rides, less crowding, more frequent service and the ability to add train service during rush periods. In addition, brand new modern and fully ADA accessible stations will be added.

The first phase of the project will include the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization (LBMM). It will reconstruct four Red Line stations, replace six miles of track, and rebuild associated structures and viaducts. A new signal system will also be added through 23 miles of the line to help increase traffic flow and reliability.

With utility relocation work well under way since last year, it should be finalized this Fall. According to the CTA, 55% of the relocation of utility lines and equipment has already been completed.

After the utility work is done, the contractor is expected to begin signal/track prep and construction of temporary stations at Argyle & Bryn Mawr in Fall of 2019. Walsh-Fluor DBT will then begin the rebuild in two stages.

Stage A will begin Winter 2020 and be completed in Spring 2022. During this time the current Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and BrynMawr stations will close and the temporary stations at Bryn Mawr and Argyle will open. Lawrence and Berwyn will remain closed throughout the rest of the reconstruction. All north-south Red/Purple trains will share the two westernmost tracks and northbound tracks to be rebuilt.

Once that work is complete, Stage B is expected to start Fall of 2022 and last through Spring of 2024. Station reconstruction will continue and all north-south Red/Purple trains will share the easternmost tracks as southbound tracks are rebuilt. Riders should expect to see service interruptions and possible street and alley closures during the entire construction process.

By choosing Walsh-Fluor DBT, the CTA says that their $2.1B project proposal will streamline the construction process and save 200 days of construction as well as use more efficient construction methods to minimize impacts to the community. The LBMM is expected to finalize construction and open the four new stations to the public by the Summer of 2024.

The CTA is expected to hold multiple community meetings throughout the construction including one this Fall. Residents should be aware of Construction Activity Notices (CANs) which will alert them to upcoming work. They also say a hotline will be developed in order to field questions and comments.


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