CTA Moves to Next Steps of Major Upgrade of ‘Ravenswood Connector’ for Brown, Purple Lines to Increase Track Speeds and Improve Service Reliability

September 6, 2013

Major work on $71.2M rehabilitation project begins Sunday and will eliminate 70 percent of Brown Line slow zones

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced the start of major construction work on the $71.2 million Ravenswood Connector rehabilitation project. This project will eliminate more than 70 percent of Brown Line slow zones and will result in safer, more reliable service on a key segment of the Brown and Purple Lines between Armitage Avenue and the Loop.

Beginning Sunday, September 8, CTA ironworkers will begin major project work following months of preliminary preparation on the Connector project. The upcoming work will include the repair and replacement of components on the steel structure between the Armitage and Merchandise Mart elevated stations. Preliminary project work began this summer with crews taking measurements and fabricating replacement infrastructure components.

The elevated infrastructure between Armitage and the Loop was originally constructed in the late 1800s. Once the infrastructure work is completed, the CTA will begin replacing deteriorated rail ties and track components, work that is expected to begin in 2014.

“The CTA’s investment in the Brown and Purple Line tracks will provide faster and more reliable service to the nearly 40,000 customers who take Brown and Purple Line trains into the Loop each weekday,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The Ravenswood Connector’s condition has resulted in numerous ‘slow zones’ that require trains to operate at maximum speeds of 15 m.p.h. This project will not only improve the safety and reliability for the 700 trains that travel to and from the Loop each weekday, it will eliminate more than two miles worth of slow zones.”

To minimize the impact to service, structural repair work will be performed mostly late at night and on weekends. During these times, trains traveling in both directions will operate on a single track, which will result in longer travel times and occasionally changes in boarding locations at rail stations. Additional information regarding any scheduled impacts to service will be made available each week on the CTA website under “System Status & Alerts.”

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