CTA will begin field work July 24 to replace the nearly century old viaduct located at Church Street. The viaduct is one block north of the Purple Line Davis station, and has deteriorated over time with exposure to the elements. Due to its condition, CTA Purple Line trains must reduce speed when crossing. Replacing the bridge will further eliminate slow zones and improve travel time for Purple Line customers.
At its April meeting, the Chicago Transit Board approved a
$3.3 million construction contract to replace the viaduct. The Church Street structure is the second of six Purple Line bridges CTA is replacing as funding becomes available. CTA and the City of Evanston worked together to identify the Church Street viaduct as the next in line for replacement. CTA replaced Evanston's Main Street viaduct in 2005.
Purple Line service will continue to operate throughout construction, but may be suspended for a limited time when the new viaduct is rolled into place later this fall. In fall 2005 when CTA replaced the viaduct at Main Street, Purple Line service was temporarily suspended for one weekend and bus shuttle service was provided as a substitute.
The project involves replacing the concrete viaduct with a new steel structure, which is expected to happen in the fall, as well as new abutments, retaining walls, foundations, and new waterproofing and drainage systems. The project also calls for rail tie replacement, new landscaping and lighting enhancements under the bridge.
CTA used Illinois FIRST funds for the replacement of the Main Street viaduct, however, with the end of the Illinois FIRST funding source, CTA turned to its Federal Transit Administration Rail Modernization funds to pay for the Church Street viaduct. Illinois Constructors Corporation of Elburn, Illinois was selected as the contractor through a competitive bidding process.
The Purple Line extends from the Linden station in Wilmette to the Howard terminal in Chicago where customers can make connections with Red Line and Yellow Line trains.
Purple Line Express trains operate Monday through Friday during morning and afternoon rush periods offering non-stop service from Howard to Belmont, then making all stops to the Loop. The Purple Line is the sixth busiest rail line in the CTA system, totaling 3,033,576 rides in 2005. # # #