The CTA will rehabilitate and rebuild the Red and Purple lines from just north of Belmont station to Linden station through the multi-phase Red and Purple Modernization program.
Once fully realized, the RPM Program could double passenger capacity and bring the rail lines into a state of good repair for the next 60 to 80 years, reducing travel times, improving access to job markets and destinations and providing improved access to people with disabilities.
RPM is part of CTA’s Red Ahead Program, a comprehensive initiative for maintaining, modernizing, and expanding Chicago’s most-traveled rail line. All Red Ahead Projects are mutually beneficial; an improvement in one area of the Red Line benefits the entire line.
The Red and Purple lines have reached the end of their useful lifespans. Most tracks and bridges are at least 100 years old. Continuing to operate two rail lines – one of which is the busiest rail line providing 24/7 service – on this outdated infrastructure results in the need for frequent repairs that disrupt service and slow travel, unusually high maintenance costs, and outdated stations that can’t accommodate modern amenities for all our customers.
This segment of the Red and Purple lines carries more than 20 percent of all CTA rail rides and serves customers in some of the densest neighborhoods in Chicago.
The Red Line needs to expand to serve more riders, yet with current infrastructure constraints it has reached capacity. If nothing is done to add more frequent and longer trains to accommodate more riders, trains will become more crowded and passengers will wait longer.
The first phase of the RPM improvements includes three main components and are necessary to meet future ridership demand:
- Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project: Completely rebuilding four aging stations: Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr, including expanding and modernizing the stations with the addition of elevators and other amenities to make each accessible to customers with disabilities and limited mobility.
- Red-Purple Bypass Project: Construction of a rail bypass north of the Belmont station to allow the CTA to address the capacity constraint it currently faces because of an outdated rail intersection traveled by three rail lines. The bypass allows the CTA to add train service as ridership grows and to eliminate delays where the Red, Purple and Brown lines all intersect and trains must stand and wait for other trains to pass. In addition, the project is rebuilding the Red and Purple line tracks from north of the Belmont station to the segment of track between Newport and Cornelia avenues, increasing train speeds and improving passenger comfort with added capacity.
- Corridor Signal Improvement Project: Replacing a 50-year track signal system between Howard and Belmont, improve train operations and service reliability.
Future phases of RPM would bring the same level of infrastructure and station improvements to the Red and Purple lines from north of the Belmont station to the Linden station in Wilmette.
CTA considered the entire RPM corridor and looked to identify a package of projects that brought the greatest amount of benefits to Red and Purple Line riders, while minimizing impacts on the surrounding communities that rely upon these rail lines for their daily travel needs. The Phase One projects will benefit 88 percent of all current RPM corridor trips – approximately 110,000 trips every weekday. The two projects combined are expected to save customers using the RPM corridor approximately one million hours of travel time a year.
1. Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project:
- Approximately 45,000 people live within ½ mile of these stations, which is twice as dense as the average Chicago neighborhood.
- More than 28,000 trips currently begin or end at the four stations being reconstructed.
- None of the stations in this segment of the Red Line are accessible to people with disabilities or those with limited mobility.
- The almost 80,000 trips that typically travel through this segment of track will benefit from the faster service and a smoother ride once the project is complete.
- The Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project will replace 1.3 miles of the most difficult structures to maintain – the 90-year-old embankment walls – and completely rebuild four stations to be modern, spacious and accessible.
- This project will continue the construction of consistent modern infrastructure from the adjacent Wilson Station Reconstruction Project, which was completed in 2017.
2. Red-Purple Bypass Project:
- Existing rush period ridership requires as many trains as Clark Junction capacity allows – demand has grown over the long term and we are at capacity. CTA cannot add any additional service at this time.
- Customers who ride every weekday on the Red, Purple and Brown line trains benefit from the improved reliability and reduction in delays.
- The Red-Purple Bypass Project allows the CTA to meet current and future transit demand needs. By removing this major bottleneck, customers traveling on the Red, Purple and Brown lines benefit from more reliable service.
- This project is the single largest capacity expansion and time savings-element of all the improvements considered in the RPM corridor.
Both projects identified for Phase One of RPM are necessary to complete to meet the goal of adding more rail service capacity to the Red Line and will benefit the greatest number of customers.
Brand new stations will be constructed and feature a number of new amenities to improve the overall customer experience, including:
- New elevators and escalators (ADA access)
- Wider platforms
- Wider stairwells
- Additional turnstiles
- New brighter and additional lighting
- New signage, including Braille
- Additional bike parking
- Longer, modern steel-framed, translucent canopies
- More benches and windscreens
Reconstructed tracks and structures will allow CTA to provide the following improved customer experience:
- More train service
- Less crowding as ridership grows
- More reliable service
- Shorter wait times
- Fewer delays
- Faster speeds
- Smoother tracks
- Quieter ride
Improvements made under the guidance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will provide access to transit services for people who may have difficulty navigating stairs or require specific audio and/or visual cues. By making these stations fully ADA accessible, we are making sure that all people within the community can access and benefit from public transit services. CTA has a long-term plan, the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), to make all of its stations fully accessible, including all of the stations included in the multi-phase RPM program.
RPM Phase One is funded through a combination of federal and local funds including: $957 in federal Core Capacity funds (FTA); a federal $125 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP); $622 million in Transit TIF (tax-increment financing) funds from the City of Chicago; and CTA financing.
CTA anticipates future phases of RPM to be funded through a mix of federal, state and local funds.
Some private commercial and residential properties were acquired to construct portions of the RPM Phase One improvements. Properties were required to expand station platforms, remove slow and unnecessary curves in the tracks and to construct the Red-Purple Bypass infrastructure. CTA has already acquired and demolished the properties it needs to construct the RPM Phase One project.
To minimize the number of properties necessary for the project, CTA considered many possible alternatives before determining which properties were necessary for Phase One. CTA used innovative engineering techniques during the development of the projects to reduce neighboring property impacts as much as possible, including implementing alley-spanning structures and adjusting platform widths and positions.
To mitigate the impact of acquisition, property owners were protected by the federal Uniform Act on relocation assistance and property acquisition.
More information about specific properties required for RPM Phase One
There will be no permanent closures or consolidation of the four stations contained in Phase One of the RPM Project. During construction, the Lawrence and Berwyn stations temporarily closed for reconstruction in May 2021. and temporary stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr were opened to provide rail access to customers during reconstruction. Those temporary stations will serve passengers until the new stations are completed by 2025.
Temporary street closures are required as part of the construction process in order for construction crews to be effective and efficient, while also providing a safe working environment for both the crews and local residents and their property. CTA and its contractor, Walsh-Fluor, actively coordinate with residents and businesses to provide notification of upcoming work, ensure continued access to property and provide alternative parking for residents who need it. Contractors are required to provide off-street parking off site for construction workers to maintain on-street parking availability.
We understand that residents living in the project’s footprint will occasionally be affected by construction activities, including temporary street and alley closures, noise and more. During construction, we will coordinate closely with the project’s design-build contractor to mitigate impacts of construction on local residents and their daily lives, including parking, garbage pickup, etc. We have also launched our RPM Open for Business program to promote small businesses during the construction period through 2025. We also have created a dedicated web page to promote small businesses.
We continue to meet regularly with resident groups, from condo buildings to residents on city blocks, to explain the project and listen to their concerns, which will help us develop plans to support residents during construction.
The project funds CTA is utilizing to construct the RPM Phase One Project are not permitted to be used to provide tax relief to private individuals or businesses. At this time, CTA is not aware of any outside funding sources for tax relief during construction and any questions about tax relief would need to be directed to the City, which does have various small business support programs.
There are impacts during construction including temporary closures of alleys, streets, sidewalks and parking and station closures. There is also noise, dust and truck traffic.
During construction, we coordinate closely with Walsh-Fluor to provide advance notification of upcoming work and do our best to mitigate impacts of construction on local residents and their daily lives. Residents whose parking is blocked by construction are provided with alternative parking and continue to have garbage and recycling pickup.
Alley closures are required for the project, including closures with long durations. Advance notification is being provided to affected residents and businesses.
Walsh-Fluor is responsible for providing alternative parking to affected residents when an alley is closed. Advance notification will be provided to those residents as well as alternative parking information. To inquire about alternative parking, please call the contractor at (708) 253-9772.
Walsh-Fluor, the design-build contractor selected to construct the project, began project design work in 2019. Because this project is a "design-build", the contractor is continually construction sequencing and schedules as project design progresses. Below is the expected timeline for the project:
||Project engineering and design work
||Major construction begins on Red-Purple Bypass
||Track improvement work between Thorndale and Montrose begins late December 2019 and continues in 2020 to prepare tracks to carry Red and Purple Line trains on two tracks (instead of the usual four) during construction 2021-2024
||Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Stage A station/track reconstruction begins
||Lawrence and Berwyn stations close; temporary stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr open
||Red-Purple Bypass completed
||Reconstruction of Red, Purple Line tracks between Belmont on the south and between Newport and Cornelia on the north begins
||New Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations open by 2025; Red and Purple Line track reconstruction north of Belmont to be completed by 2025.
||RPM project to be fully completed
During construction, noise from construction machinery occurs. The contractor has specifications requiring “best practices” to limit construction noise. Following construction, noise levels are projected to be less than existing conditions. The new structure will include noise barriers and other features to mitigate noise levels in the community.
Construction specifications require the contractor to provide off-street parking for construction workers so that on-street parking remains available for access to businesses and neighborhood parking. There are occasional on-street parking impacts in the vicinity of the rail line due to construction activities.
In 2017, CTA began the comprehensive process of seeking the most qualified design and construction firms in the industry to design and build Phase One of RPM. As part of a two-step procurement process, the CTA issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select the most qualified contracting teams that could demonstrate the ability to design and build RPM Phase One. CTA finalized the short list of candidates in late 2017 and asked them to submit proposals on how they would design and build RPM Phase One through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The CTA selected Walsh-Fluor as the project's design-build contractor in 2018.
Anyone can request to be added to the RPM contact list by registering directly for construction alerts by clicking here. Members of the contact list will receive upcoming meeting notices, as well as future updates about the RPM Program and Phase One projects. Information about the RPM Program is also available on this project website.
If you are part of a community group that would like to learn more about the RPM Phase One projects, please send information about your organization and your upcoming meeting dates to us at RPM@transitchicago.com.
The CTA made the decision to remove nearly all of the wall, rather than a partial demolition, after determining during RPM work that the 100-year-old embankment wall is more deteriorated than anticipated. Its condition prevents the aesthetic improvements to the walls lanned in RPM Phase One from having either the appearance or lifespan that were intended. By removing the wall now, while construction is already occurring in the community, residents will not undergo wall demolition in the future. Read more.
We intend to fully rebuild the station and track at Sheridan in a future phase of RPM. Sheridan and the adjacent track structure pose unique challenges.
Given the age and structural state of the station, deterioration is significant and it is difficult station to clean and maintain – Sheridan first opened as part of the Northwestern 'L' in 1900 and the station house was extensively renovated in 1930s. Adding to the complexity, Sheridan is also built into the commercial buildings that surround it, which makes the major renovation the station needs far more challenging to renovate than most other stations.
Though a significant station renewal was performed in 2011 and the station is continually maintained, its condition is simply to the point where full reconstruction is the only way to make the station meaningfully improved – similar to the extensive reconstruction of station and track structure at Wilson. The reconstruction of Sheridan would need to take place with the reconstruction of the track structure, so it’spossible the station would be relocated close to its current spot.
RPM Phase One, which is funded and now under way, includes the selection of track structures and stations that will benefit the largest portion of CTA ridership. CTA is currently working on the development of future phases of RPM, including potential funding scenarios, and will go through a substantial public outreach effort once phases are determined.
The Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Program is a multi-stage project to allow us to make the greatest number of improvements while minimizing impacts on riders and the surrounding communities.
Extensive analysis, planning, public outreach, and design will be required to further develop a blueprint for implementing the Future RPM Program. Phases of the Future RPM Program will be developed through a series of studies and public outreach processes. CTA anticipates that the Future RPM Program will be funded through a mix of federal, state, and local funds, pending funding availability.
Future phases of RPM include the reconstruction of all Purple Line stations and track structures between Howard and Linden, including making all stations fully accessible. Extensive analysis, planning, public outreach, and design will be required to further develop a blueprint for implementing the Future RPM Program. Phases of the Future RPM Program will be developed through a series of studies and public outreach processes.
An important part of the preparation necessary to build RPM Phase One is the relocation of utility lines and equipment ahead of building new CTA infrastructure. Advancing this utility relocation ahead of major construction activities allows for a more efficient and streamlined construction effort.
Utility relocation work is now completed in both of the Phase One project areas: Red-Purple Bypass and Lawrence to Bryn Mawr. The work included relocating overhead power and communications lines underground and installing shorter power poles, all necessary to make room for new track structure that will be constructed.
While rebuilding the stations and tracks, CTA will maintain service along the entire length of the Red Line. CTA is performing reconstruction work in two stages, with temporary station closures and alternating two-track service. Two stations will be open in the four-station corridor during both stages of construction. Because four tracks of Red and Purple Line traffic will be merged onto to tracks during construction, service will be affected and delays can be expected. We strongly recommend planning ahead and allowing extra travel time.
During Stage A construction, which began in May 2021, the #81 Lawrence bus has been rerouted to the Wilson Red & Purple Line transfer station. The #92 Foster bus has been rerouted to the Bryn Mawr Red Line temporary station. The #146 Inner Drive will continue its stop/layover at Berwyn/Broadway and its route will not change.
The current structure is nearly 100 years old, and near the end of its useful lifespan. These structures will be modernized to meet all Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) clearance standards, and portions of the embankment will be removed near station areas to create improved sightlines. The majority of the existing retaining wall will remain in place with about 3 to 4 feet removed off the top of the existing wall to permit CTA inspections but keep unauthorized people out from the embankment/underneath the new structure. You can see renderings of the new stations and track structure here.
Where tracks are modernized, noise levels would be similar to today, and in some areas, quieter because of improved technologies and construction methods aimed at reducing noise, such as continuous welded rail, closed deck structure and noise barriers along both sides of the track.
The Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization work includes demolition and reconstruction of four Red Line stations to make them larger and fully accessible to all customers. This is different from recent station rehab projects, which involved replacing platforms and canopies, new paint, new lighting, etc. but otherwise reused the existing station structure.
The interim improvements made in 2013 were necessary because we could no longer postpone repairs that needed our immediate attention. We wanted to be good stewards of the existing infrastructure, as we continued to plan for the implementation of the RPM Program.
The interim repairs and rehab work performed in 2013 at the seven North Red Line stations – Jarvis, Morse, Granville, Thorndale, Berwyn, Argyle and Lawrence –was intended to help extend the life of the facilities and bring them to state of good repair as we continued planning for the RPM project. When commissioning the public artwork that was installed as part of that rehab effort, we understood there was a very good chance that these stations would be rebuilt from the ground up, which is why steps were taken to ensure the artwork will be re-installed in the new stations.
Even through the stations will be completely reconstructed, the architecture will recognize that several of the stations are in historic districts. At Argyle and Bryn Mawr stations in particular, the portion of the station house facing the street will be in keeping with the districts. The scale of the station house, the spacing of windows and doors, and potentially preservation of prairie-style columns were incorporated into the new station designs.
Completely rebuilding the stations is needed because the stations are a century old and in need of reconstruction. What's more, elevators need the wider platforms the new stations will offer to safely accommodate passengers and provide clearance for mobility devices.
The four stations included in the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project (Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr) are not currently ADA accessible and have limited accessibility for the elderly, people with disabilities, and people with children and strollers. These stations were identified by the CTA’s Infrastructure Accessibility Task Force as the highest priority stations in the RPM corridor. As part of RPM Phase One, these four stations will receive elevators and other amenities such as improved and braille signage; visual and audible way-finding; improved lighting in and around stationhouses; firmer, more defined surfaces; and improved weather protection for customers on sidewalks and platforms.
There is not enough space available to build temporary stations at those locations, unfortunately. Passengers who normally board at Lawrence can use Wilson or Argyle stations, which are each a quarter mile away and connected via the #36 Broadway bus, and Berwyn customers can use the Bryn Mawr or Argyle stations.
As of May 16, 2021, customers who access the Red Line via the Lawrence bus or Berwyn station via the #81 Lawrence and #92 Foster buses, respectively, are still able to connect to the Red Line. The #81 has been rerouted to the Wilson station and the #92 has been rerouted to the temporary Red Line station at Bryn Mawr.
Yes, the temporary stations have Ventra machines to load value, check balances and more.
The new structure will meet all local and state standards for height requirements. Depending on location, the existing track structure at the rail level is about 15-16 feet high. The new tracks will be 5-10 feet higher, depending upon location.
The pre-cast segments for the new Lawrence to Bryn Mawr track structure are currently being manufactured by Utility Concrete Products in Morris, Ill., and are individually trucked to Chicago. The new structure will use more than 1,500 segments, each about 10 feet long. The segments will be pulled together using temporary bars (segment to segment) and ultimately post-tensioned (or pulled together) using stainless steel post-tension cables.
Bryn Mawr, like the other three Red Line stations being reconstruction in RPM Phase One, will feature glazed terra cotta facades that are consistent with other buildings in the community.
The RPM Phase One project is rebuilding all four Red Line stations to be fully compliant with accessibility standards for customers with disabilities for the first time in their 100-year history. Specifically, Lawrence, Argyle and Berwyn will have a main stationhouse that is accessible with an elevator and escalator, and each station will have a secondary or auxiliary exit for added convenience. Bryn Mawr will have two accessible entrances at the main stationhouse and on W. Hollywood Avenue and an auxiliary entrance/exit that does not provide step-free access.
We are excited to bring these added conveniences for our customers, as the CTA pursues its All Station Accessibility Plan (ASAP) to make 100 percent of all CTA rail stations fully accessible The design decisions for each station within the RPM project intentionally meet or exceed federal and local requirements for entrance accessibility, including the requirement that at least 60% of entrances to a public transit facility are accessible to people with disabilities.
Due to complexities from space constraints that would make turning these points into entrances, and project cost increases that would become necessary if these were also made into entrances, it's not feasible for us to also make all of these points of entry.
As we work toward our goal of making all CTA rail stations fully accessible, CTA’s priority is to find funding to make additional non-RPM stations accessible.
We plan to incorporate existing art in the new stations in addition to commissioning new artwork for each..
Main entrance, accessible: north side of street
Auxiliary exit: south side of street
Main entrance, accessible: north side of street
Auxiliary exit: south side of street
Main entrance, accessible: south side of street
Auxiliary exit: north side of street
Bryn Mawr station:
Bryn Mawr Ave main entrance, accessible: north side of street
Bryn Mawr Ave auxiliary entrance/exit: south side of street
Hollywood Ave auxiliary entrance/exit, accessible: south side of street
Public artwork is an important part of new and renovated CTA stations. We are excited that there will be new public art created for each of the four stations. CTA will seek proposals from artists and there will be an opportunity for the public to provide feedback into the type of art that is developed for each station via public meetings.
CTA stations are important cornerstones of the communities they serve, which is why we took into consideration form in addition to function so the new stations reflect the communities around them and provide a pleasant aesthetic appearance for pedestrians and customers. We worked closely with people who live and work in the neighborhoods around the stations to develop designs that aim to create an identity for each station, each responding to the context and/or the culture within they reside. The stations will retain what makes them special, including the prairie-style columns to honor the architectural history.
The terracotta has a glazed surface like a glazed brick or a tile, so it is naturally resistant to graffiti and will have an added coating to mitigate any potential damage.
We are working with the local alderman and community to relocate the Asia on Argyle sign and pagoda structure.
The community identifiers in the station renderings are conceptual. We will communicate with the community around each station to determine what station identifiers will look like.
There are no plans to signalize the crosswalks, though there will be additional signage and pavement markings in accordance with Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) standards to direct drivers to allow pedestrians to cross.
Keeping the public and our employees safe during construction is our highest priority, while also minimizing the impacts to pedestrians as much as possible. For example, the contractor will maintain pedestrian, bicycle, residential, and business access, along with at least one thru lane in each direction of traffic, during any partial street closures.
To keep pedestrians safe, the contractor will use a number of tools, including using temporary barrier walls, fencing and screens to separate pedestrians from construction areas and vehicular traffic and covered walkways with clear signage for pedestrians.
There will be no changes to Purple Line service during construction. Purple Line trains will not stop at the temporary stations.
Yes, all the service changes are provided in the GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) dataset that CTA provides to Google and makes available for third party developers for their apps and websites.
We do not plan to alter the #146 bus route because there isn’t a better alternative route, and the percentage of #146 bus riders who transfer to the Red Line is low..
The two likely options for Red Line connections—one stop north at Bryn Mawr, and one stop south at Argyle—pose challenges. Bryn Mawr Ave. is a narrow arterial street subject to congestion that already hosts one bus route (#84 Peterson) and will have a second (#92 Foster) during Stage A. Adding a third may exacerbate traffic issues. To the south, the shared street design of Argyle Ave. is poorly suited to bus traffic, making it an unsuitable path for routing buses to the temporary Red Line station there. Routing it to another arterial street would involve excessive added mileage and travel time for customers. Given these constraints and the low level of transfer traffic, the #146 will remain starting/ending and laying over at Berwyn/Broadway. Any customers needing to transfer between the #146 and the Red Line can walk two (2) blocks between the #146 stop at Foster/Broadway and the temporary Argyle Red Line station.
The #92 lays over eastbound on Bryn Mawr at Winthrop; the layover zone is along the curb between the alley east of the ‘L’ and Winthrop (1101-1109 W. Bryn Mawr). Buses laying over do not block traffic—they will lay over along the curb, out of the traffic lane.
At this time, there is no plan for adding owl (overnight) service on the #36 Broadway bus. However, we continue to monitor ridership levels, patterns and demand, service quality, vehicle capacity, and community feedback, and will make adjustments to service as needed.
Both the Lawrence and Berwyn stations are 2-3 blocks from an open station (Wilson, Argyle and Bryn Mawr) during construction. In addition, both the Lawrence and Berwyn stations, which will close for reconstruction, are served by bus routes that can take customers directly from the closed station to an open station. The #81 Lawrence will take customers from the closed Lawrence station to the adjacent, ADA-accessible Wilson station, and the #92 Foster will take customer from the closed Berwyn station (board at Broadway/Berwyn) to the adjacent temporary Bryn Mawr station.
All closed and open stations are also served by the #36 Broadway. In some cases, depending where the customer’s journey begins, one of these buses may also be boarded closer to their origin than the nearest closed station.
Information about service impacts, including bus reroutes and temporary stations, are posted to the CTA website (in the RPM section, as well as in the Service Alerts section and on the Red Line route page), and on CTA’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter). Subscribers to RPM Alerts or CTA Updates alerts can have information sent directly by email or SMS (text message). Bus reroute alerts are posted at bus stops and onboard buses.
Both agencies coordinate with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the local alderman’s office on street closures and impacts, which work in coordination to make sure that simultaneous projects don’t create an undue impact. We have worked extensively with CDOT and the alderman's office on what streets we can close or other impacts, such as lane closures, to make sure we balanced different community needs as well as impacts on the larger city street network.
Residents are not required to sign a waiver.
The contractor has committed to providing free, alternative parking during extended closures within 15 minutes or less travel time. Enough alternative spaces are available for affected residents. Affected residents can call Walsh-Fluor at (708) 253-9772.
The contractor will notify you ahead of time of parking impacts, including blocked access to garages and parking spots. Notification is typically provided 1-2 weeks in advance. Residents whose parking is blocked will have access to the Parqex app and will be able to see which spaces are available and reserve a spot. Residents who wish to use alternative parking need to provide contact info and license plate to Walsh-Fluor to register with the app.
The contractor will provide alternative parking during construction for both daily alley closures from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. as well as extended alley closures that will last for multiple weeks to months.
We understand residents’ safety concerns. The contractor has identified parking lots that will have controlled access and be managed by a professional parking company, which will handle monitoring and enforcement of parking. Walsh-Fluor is working with the CTA, the alderman’s offices and law enforcement to make them aware of when neighbors will be walking to local alternative parking locations.
Contractors are required to provide off-street parking off site for construction workers to maintain on-street parking availability.
CTA does not have the authority to grant permit parking. That request would need to be made to the local alderman.
The contractor will make every effort to accommodate the needs of residents. We encourage residents with upcoming issues to notify the contractor via Marcy Jensen at email@example.com or CTA at RPM@transitchicago.com.
The Bypass is absolutely necessary if the Red Line is going to continue to serve riders and provide quality, reliable service. The daily delays to rail service are the symptom of a larger problem: a bottleneck of trains that must stop and wait at the rail junction where Red, Purple and Brown Line tracks intersect.
If CTA tried to add more trains on the Red Line, this bottleneck would cause even longer delays and trains would continue to back up. Because of this intersection alone, CTA can no longer add more trains during rush periods when they are desperately needed. If the bottleneck isn’t corrected now, the CTA won’t be able to meet ridership demands. Trains will become more crowded and more cars will clog our streets.
Building the Bypass will unclog traffic at this intersection, allowing CTA to add up to eight more Red Line trains and ultimately serve 7,200 more riders per hour. The Red-Purple Bypass is critically important to CTA as we modernize our rail system for the next 60 to 80 years.
Yes, our engineers have examined many alternative options, but none are adequate solutions. Here’s why:
||Reasons for Concern
|Build a tunnel
||Construction of a tunnel would require a massive open pit in the center of Lakeview to accommodate equipment and materials. The building displacements and neighborhood disruption of tunnel construction would be far more severe than the Bypass.
|Operate extra trains between Belmont and the Loop
||Running more trains only between Belmont and the Loop would require an extra turn-around track to be built north of Belmont Station. This would have nearly as many property acquisition impacts as the Bypass, and most importantly, would still not address the capacity increases needed along the entire length of the Red Line.
|Lengthen the platform at Belmont station
||Some have suggested CTA lengthen the platform at Belmont station to allow CTA to operate 10-car trains instead of 8-car trains. Lengthening the platform at Belmont station alone would not allow 10-car trains to operate along the entire length of the Red Line. In order to run 10-car trains, ALL platforms at ALL Red Line stations would need to be lengthened – and that would still not address the bottleneck issue north of Belmont station where Brown, Red and Purple Line tracks intersect.
||CTA is currently designing an upgraded signal system for the RPM corridor as part of this project. However, without removing the bottleneck at this rail junction, only minimal improvements are possible (estimated that at most, one additional train per hour could be added, compared to the eight additional trains per hour the bypass alone would allow). The reason signaling alone is not a solution, is that by definition, two trains can’t be in the same spot at the same time. When the Brown Line crosses a Red Line track, no Red Lines can be on the section of track.
The crest of the Bypass, between School Street and Clark Street, is approximately 22 feet higher than the existing track (about 45 feet above ground level, or roughly the height of a four-story building). This height is only at the crest, just long enough to clear the Red Line, and then it slopes back to the existing height of the Brown Line track structure. This is not the highest point in the CTA rail system, nor is it the highest structure in the neighborhood, as multiple nearby buildings are substantially taller.
Following construction of the Bypass project, the land east of the tracks along Wilton Avenue will be made available for redevelopment. The minimum lot depth following construction will be 40 feet, which is sufficient for various types of development.
CTA developed a Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan for the project area to encourage redevelopment or plans for parcels remaining after construction. To provide context for the new construction, CTA developed conceptual renderings of what redevelopment might look like. These images included several different buildings, all of which are feasible based on the lot sizes available after construction of the new rail lines and that have been guided significantly by community input. CTA published the development plans, which can be found at transitchicago.com/rpm/todplan.
Construction will have very minimal impact to the Addison Red Line station but will intermittently impact streets south of Wrigley Field, such as Clark and Sheffield at Roscoe. Impacts will be temporary, related to the placement of foundations and overhead beams. To the extent possible, necessary street closures would not take place on peak attendance game days.
The Vautravers building, located at 947-949 W. Newport Avenue is part of the Newport Avenue District, a designated Chicago Landmark. This building stood directly in the path of the realignment for the Red and Purple lines north of Belmont station. Rather than raze the building, CTA in 2021 relocated this building out of the path of the new alignment about 30 feet west of its current location to preserve the historic integrity of the Newport Avenue District.
To move the building safely, CTA engineers worked with the contractor to develop the plan that successfully relocated the building. The CTA coordinated closely with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (SCHP), State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Historic Preservation Division of the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
CTA, in coordination with the alderman’s office, the local community and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, has prepared a Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan to encourage redevelopment or plans for parcels remaining after construction. Those plans can be found at transitchicago.com/RPM/todplan.
Generally, the space directly beneath the new aerial tracks is kept open for future inspection and maintenance of the structure. CTA intends to make the spaces under the tracks more aesthetically pleasing, including lighting and streetscaping.
The Red Line has served as the backbone of the CTA for 100 years, and its rehabilitation and rebuilding is long overdue. RPM Phase One is rebuilding outdated stations, track structures and a rail junction. The age of our rail system contributes to less reliable service and it will get worse if we do nothing.
What we're building now will be around for the next century to serve riders, including the thousands of essential workers who need reliable, efficient service every day, as well as future riders as transit ridership increases post-pandemic.
While there may be some changes in commuting patterns, there is no question that a modern, efficient transit system is and will always be a key component of Chicago's transportation system: No other form of transportation moves more people, more effectively and more affordably than transit. We're building for beyond the current conditions faced today, because transit investments are always long-term in nature and meant to benefit the most people possible over a long period of time.
There are hundreds of small businesses in the Red and Purple Modernization Project area and we are committed to supporting them throughout construction. The RPM Open for Business program supports small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and major attractions or entertainment venues affected by RPM Phase One Project construction by encouraging people to shop, eat, play, and explore within the impacted RPM project area. Promotions include social media, a dedicated web site, signage in the community and more. Learn more at transitchicago.com/RPM.
A. Yes, we will continue to register small businesses in the RPM project area throughout construction. If you own a small business or organization in Andersonville, Edgewater, Lakeview East or Uptown, learn about eligibility and apply here.
During construction, CTA is committed to restricting construction parking, implementing dust control measures, and executing a construction outreach and coordination plan to assist local businesses and residences affected by construction. We also offer an Open for Business program to promote local businesses -- information is here.
A modernized transit system is good for local businesses, bringing customers into storefronts and encouraging new development and investment in neighborhoods. CTA believes it is important to, at every step, work closely with businesses as we perform the actual work to modernize our rail structure. We provide notification of all work ahead of time and make arrangements for business deliveries as needed.
We offer a free Open for Business program to promote local businesses during construction through signage, advertising, online and social media, etc. and we will strongly encourage all of our contractors to patronize local businesses. More information can be found here.
The project funds CTA is utilizing to construct the RPM Phase One Project are not permitted to be used to provide financial support to private businesses.