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CTA breaks ground on Red and Purple rail line modernization project

CTA’s Red and Purple Line Modernization project includes construction of a bypass bridge to ease congestion on the rail lines.
Photo – Walsh Construction


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter and other officials yesterday helped mark the start of construction on the first phase of the Red and Purple Line modernization project.

The $2.1 billion project — the largest in CTA's history — is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

A Walsh Construction Co. and Fluor Corp. joint venture is the design-build team for the project, which includes construction of a bypass bridge to ease congestion on the rail line; reconstruction of nearly 2 miles of tracks to allow for higher train speed; and the replacement of four CTA stations to include wider platforms and improved security and comfort features.

Stantec Consulting Services is the project's lead designer on the project, along with major subconsultant designers EXP U.S. Services Inc., International Bridge Technologies Inc. and TranSmart/EJM Engineering Inc.

As part of yesterday's groundbreaking, CTA is beginning construction on the new Red-Purple Bypass to unclog a 100-year-old junction where Red, Purple and Brown line trains now intersect. 

A major component of the bypass construction also will rebuild four Red Line stations and century-old rail structure between the Lawrence and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations. 

"Public transit is the great connector of our city — and with this monumental project, we are building on our obligation to ensure Chicago’s transportation network is accessible, reliable and affordable for all residents of this city so that our neighborhoods and communities are connected to jobs, education and opportunity," Lightfoot said in a press release. 

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/3/2019