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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) yesterday launched major construction work on the $71.2 million Ravenswood Connector rehabilitation project.Workers are repairing and replacing components on the steel structure between the Armitage and Merchandise Mart elevated stations. Once that work is completed next year, crews will begin replacing ties and track components. The project will enable CTA to eliminate more than 70 percent of Brown Line slow zones, and improve safety and reliability on a key segment of the Brown and Purple lines between Armitage Avenue and the Loop, according to a press release. The infrastructure was originally constructed in the late 1800s.