CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project Final Major Stage, Stage B, to Begin July 28, 2023

July 14, 2023

CTA will begin building four new, fully accessible stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr; CTA to also begin rebuilding northbound Red, Purple tracks

Red, Purple Line service to continue throughout construction; CTA to open new temporary rail stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr to serve customers and announces some bus route changes

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the agency will begin on July 28, 2023 the final major stage of the transformational Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization project, which is part of CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project. This stage includes the construction of four new, fully accessible Red Line stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr. This phase of work will be completed and the new stations opened in 2025.

This stage means that CTA customers will for the first time to able to ride Red and Purple Line Express trains that will travel on the new track structure between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr that replaces century-old tracks.

“We are pleased to start this next important phase of work that is modernizing and improving the Red Line for our customers,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This next major stage of construction will build state-of-the-art, fully accessible stations, moving us closer to our commitment to making the entire CTA rail system fully accessible. We’re doing all of this while providing career-building training opportunities, good jobs and plenty of opportunities for small businesses to participate in this historic Red Line project.”

Service changes beginning July 28 at 10 p.m.

Red and Purple line service will continue throughout construction. During Stage B, the following temporary service impacts will be in place:

  • New temporary rail station locations for Argyle & Bryn Mawr. Stage A temporary stations will close when Stage B temporary stations open.
    • The new Argyle temporary station will have entrances on W. Foster and W. Winona
    • The new Bryn Mawr temporary station will have an entrance on W. Bryn Mawr, with an auxiliary exit at W. Catalpa
  • The Bryn Mawr temporary station will be southbound-only during Stage B because there is no space to build a platform that can serve northbound trains. Customers traveling northbound can:
    • Board a southbound train at Bryn Mawr to the next station at Argyle, then cross the platform to board a northbound train
    • Use the Thorndale Red Line station ¼-mile north of the Bryn Mawr station
  • Lawrence and Berwyn stations will remain closed during Stage B.
  • Red and Purple line service will run on the two new easternmost tracks instead of the usual four tracks.
  • Red Line trains will stop at the two temporary stations (except for northbound trains at Bryn Mawr), while Purple Line Express trains will continue to run nonstop between Howard and Wilson.

Bus route changes

  • The current #81 Lawrence bus reroute to the Wilson Red Line will continue in Stage B
  • #84 Peterson will be rerouted so that it connects with both the Bryn Mawr Stage B temporary station (southbound-only service) and Thorndale station (with northbound and southbound service)
  • #92 Foster bus will resume its normal, pre-construction route (via Berwyn Avenue instead of rerouting via Bryn Mawr Avenue) and will connect to Foster entrance of Argyle Stage B temporary station
  • #146 Inner Lake Shore/Michigan Express will continue its normal route and stop/layover at Berwyn/Broadway, and will connect to Foster end of Argyle Stage B temporary station
  • Transfers between bus and rail are free
  • Bus and rail service information can be found at transitchicago.com/travel-information.

Stage B construction

CTA’s contractor, Walsh-Fluor, will demolish the southbound Red and Purple Line track structures (the two westernmost tracks). This includes complete demolition of the embankment wall and bridges over cross streets in the Uptown and Edgewater communities between W. Ardmore and W. Lawrence avenues.

  • Walsh-Fluor will build new track support columns on the west side of the CTA track structure
  • The contractor will drill deep shafts, about 60-80 feet below ground, and fill with concrete, to create the foundations for new track support columns
  • Support columns will be installed on top of the drilled shafts to support new track structure

The new bridges and tracks will be built via an overhead gantry system that will install pre-cast concrete bridge segments that are manufactured off-site and trucked into the RPM project area, similar to how construction was performed during Stage A work. The construction method minimizes impacts to the community and the area needed by the contractor around the Red Line tracks to perform the construction work.

The new, permanent, fully accessible stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr will be built during this stage. The new stations will be modern, larger and fully accessible stations that will include elevators, wider platforms, and vastly improved amenities. Hi-res renderings of the stations can be found here.

RPM Phase One Overview

RPM Phase One Project includes three major components:

  • Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, 100 percent accessible stations; and replacement of track structure totaling six track-miles.
  • New Red-Purple Bypass construction (completed in 2021) and the reconstruction of Red and Purple Line track structure between Belmont and Newport/Cornelia (ongoing).
  • Installation of a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that, similar to roadway traffic signals, will improve train flow and service reliability (ongoing).

The Red Line and RPM

The CTA’s Red Line is CTA’s busiest rail line, historically providing more than 67 million rides a year and serving some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in U.S.

The RPM Program, which will be done in multiple phases, will rebuild the 9.6-mile stretch of Red and Purple Line track structure and stations on the North Side that are a century old. RPM will replace aging infrastructure; increase CTA’s capacity to increase train service as needed; and improve our service for customers with more reliable, comfortable service. Future phases of RPM have not yet been announced and are currently unfunded. For more information on RPM Next Phases, please visit transitchicago.com/rpm/next-phases.

Learn more about RPM online at transitchicago.com/RPM and sign up for project alerts at transitchicago.com/RPMalerts.

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