Chicago Transit Authority modernization project on red and purple lines begins this fall

Construction of new Red-Purple Bypass north of Belmont Station to improve CTA rail service

August 02, 2019
Chicago Transit Authority; Red Purple Line modernization

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently announced that construction for the Red-Purple Bypass is set to begin this fall, a major component of CTA’s Red Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project to rebuild the century-old rail system.

The RPM Phase One project will make commuting better for CTA riders with improved service and modern, fully accessible stations. This fall, CTA will begin constructing new track foundations in the Lakeview community for a new rail bypass bridge that will replace an existing rail junction built in 1907 just north of the Belmont station. The new structure will be a bypass that will carry Kimball-bound CTA Brown Line trains over north and southbound Red and Purple Line tracks just north of Belmont station.

The bypass will improve service reliability on the Red, Purple and Brown lines, increasing train speeds, easing overcrowding on rail cars, and providing CTA the ability to increase the number of trains it can run during the busiest travel periods for the nearly 150,000 rides it currently carries. 

CTA is finalizing construction start dates with the project’s contractor, Walsh-Fluor Design Build Team and will continue to provide advance notification of construction impacts. 

“The Red and Purple Modernization Project will benefit CTA customers across our rail system and is an important investment in the future of Chicago transit,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said in a statement. “The Red-Purple Bypass is a critical component to making our service more reliable and comfortable for commuters that will have benefits for all CTA riders. An investment in transit is also, however, an investment in local communities and their long-term livelihood.”