Red Ahead: Red & Purple Modernization

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Shop local and enter to win a free CTA tote bag

CTA_totebag_photoFind your new favorite place and enter to win a free CTA tote bag this summer! Beginning June 21, 2022, the first official day of summer, visit any business listed on and send us your photos to enter! Official rules are:

1. Follow both the Chicago Transit Authority and CTA Red-Purple Modernization on the platform you choose to post your entry. (CTA: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; CTA RPM: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)
2. Snap a pic of yourself visiting any business listed at and post the photo to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #CTARPMGiveaway.
3. Winners will be chosen through a random drawing at the end of the contest period, July 12, 2022. 

Good luck and have fun exploring! Questions? Email us at

Meet our new RPM scholarship winners!

Muyenzi,_PatrickMayor Lori E. Lightfoot, CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., CPS CEO Pedro Martinez and Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team announced today the two winners of the CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship: Patrick Muyenzi, 19, of Rogers Park (left) and Freddy Romero, 18, of Austin (below, left). Congratulations, Patrick and Freddy!

The “Elevating Futures” scholarship program, created by CTA and W-F, will provide the students each with $5,500 a year for four years, as well as mentoring support and career guidance, as they Romero,_Freddypursue degrees in construction and engineering. Scholarship award winners also have the opportunity to apply for summer internships on the RPM project.

“We strongly believe that all CTA projects are opportunities to lift up our communities and invest in our neighbors,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Students pursuing careers in transportation, construction and engineering are important for our city and our industry, and we applaud these individuals for taking this important step toward their futures.”

Read more about these extraordinary students in our press release here.


Meet the "Windy City Gantry"

Windy_City_GantryCTA and Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team, the contractor for CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, announced the overhead gantry system that’s building the new Red and Purple Line track structures will be named the Windy City Gantry, a name selected by a second-grade class at Goudy Elementary in Uptown.

Each class submitted an entry and a short description of the name they chose. Goudy Room 202 second graders explained their choice: 

Name_the_gantry_Goudy_kids_5.13.22“We chose this name because Windy City is a nickname for Chicago. The other names we thought of didn’t have as much to do with Chicago as the Windy City. Chicago is kind of windy--it’s windy almost every day. We think people all over Chicago will understand the name when it’s put on the Gantry. AND this is the best name we ever heard of!”

The name came from contest held by CTA and Walsh-Fluor for elementary school students to suggest a name for the gantry. Five classrooms of second, third, and fourth graders from Goudy Public School met with CTA and Walsh-Fluor to learn how the CTA was rebuilding the 100-year-old Red and Purple line structure, as well as information about the gantry and why it was in their neighborhood.

The new name and Goudy logo, pictured above left, will be added to the gantry while work is performed through 2025.

Same service, new track: Loop-bound Brown Line temporary track now in service

IMG_3179Stage_2_RVT_after_map_for_Board_PPT_20220406-1400draftLoop-bound Brown Line trains began a new temporary elevated track structure on April 6. This temporary track structure, shown on the left side of 

this photo, will allow us to continue to provide rail

 service while our contractor Walsh-Fluor demolishes and rebuilds the southbound Red and Purple Line tracks north of Belmont station.

These temporary tracks will be in use until 2025, making it one of the longest-running temporary tracks in CTA history.

The structure will be decommissioned and dismantled with the completion of the new elevated track structure.

Kimball-bound Brown Line trains will continue to use the new Red-Purple Bypass, which was completed and put into service in November 2021.




Lawrence to Bryn Mawr construction update

March, 2022 -- CTA continues to make progress in building the new northbound Red and Purple Line structures between Leland and Ardmore avenues. Currently, our contractor Walsh-Fluor is building new track structure foundations as well as the new track bed structure. Below are recent photos of some of the work that is under way.









An update about the Red-Purple Bypass

PH_20220224_RPB_EastParapetOutsideSpallThrough regular structural inspections by CTA and the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) contractor Walsh-Fluor, we recently discovered a cosmetic condition on the bypass known as spalling. This is a quality issue related to the work performed by Walsh-Fluor, the contractor that built the bypass for CTA. The likely cause of spalling is water getting into components of the bypass called PVC sleeves and then freezing, which put pressure on the surrounding material and caused the spalling.

The issues are solely cosmetic in nature, and do not impact the functionality or structural strength of the bypass.

CTA immediately directed Walsh-Fluor to perform daily inspections and remove any loose concrete. The visible recessed areas are the result of proactive mitigations to protect the public and our employees from any falling debris, ahead of the contractor completing the repairs. CTA has directed Walsh-Fluor to repair the spalls in the spring and Walsh-Fluor will complete those repairs at no cost to CTA.

CTA’s Safety Department and CTA engineers, as well as Walsh-Fluor’s State of Illinois-licensed structural engineer, have performed inspections of the bypass and have determined the condition poses no safety risk and does not adversely affect the structural performance of the bypass.

Additionally, CTA and the contractor have mitigated the risk of falling concrete with daily inspections and removing spalling material to keep the public safe and those efforts will continue until Walsh-Fluor performs the repairs.

Calling all artists!

Public art is an important aspect of the CTA. We are looking for professional artists to create new, original publicart_at_jarvis artwork for six  locations as part of the RPM Phase One project:

  • Lawrence main stationhouse, 1120 W Lawrence
  • Argyle main stationhouse, 1118 W Argyle
  • Berwyn main stationhouse, 1119 W Berwyn
  • Bryn Mawr main stationhouse, 1116 W Bryn Mawr
  • Bryn Mawr Hollywood entrance, 1119 W Hollywood
  • Lawrence to Bryn Mawr viaduct walls

Artists with experience in 2D and 3D art can apply to join CTA’s eclectic mix of over 70 other works of art throughout the system. Previous public art experience is not required. Artists will be selected based on past experience with creating and displaying art at exhibits, museums and other venues.

Artists will submit a written application that outlines their approach to artistic expression and to public art as well as their understanding of RPM public art goals.

Read more here and apply here.


CTA scholarship awards to be announced this spring.

CTA this spring will announce the CPS students who will receive RPM Elevating Futures Scholarship, a partnership between Scholarship_Logo_4ACTA and contractor Walsh-Fluor.

The scholarship provides aid to economically disadvantaged. CPS students who plan to pursue a four-year degree in construction management, civil engineering, industrial engineering, or systems engineering. The scholarship provides $5,500 per year for four years, offers mentoring support, and career development opportunities, and has already been awarded to six students across Chicago. Scholarship recipients will also be able to apply for paid summer internships on the RPM project with Walsh-Fluor and the CTA.

Read our press release here


Mayor Lightfoot, CTA President Carter break ground on new Red, Purple elevated track structure



The Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project is moving into the next stage of modernization work. On Monday, January 24, 2022, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, CTA President Dorval Carter and members of the Illinois congressional delegation celebrated the completion of the new Red-Purple Bypass and broke ground on new Red and Purple Line elevated track structures.

CTA in February will begin demolishing and rebuilding the tracks between Belmont station and W. Cornelia Avenue provide more convenient and reliable service to CTA customers.

Learn more about this event by clicking here to read our press release.

CTA, Walsh-Fluor announce “Name the Gantry” contest for elementary students!

CTA and Walsh-Fluor Design Build Team, the contractor for the RPM project, are sponsoring a contest for elementary schools to name the project’s largest piece of construction equipment, the gantry system.

The gantry will assemble concrete bridge segments for the new Red and Purple Line tracks from in the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization project in Uptown and Edgewater. The gantry is 285 feet long, nearly the size of a 747 aircraft, and allows the RPM project to build new track structure more quickly and with fewer impacts to the surrounding community.

Students in grades 2 through 4 at project-area schools are being asked to submit a name for the gantry system while it is stationed in their school’s neighborhoods.

The winning name will be displayed on the gantry as it builds new Red and Purple Line tracks from the north end of the project at Ardmore Street south to Leland Avenue. This work began in November 2021. The gantry is now rebuilding the two easternmost tracks 2021-2022 and will rebuild the remaining two tracks on the west side (2023-2024) so that CTA can continue to provide Red and Purple Line service during construction.

Contest rules and regulations include the following:

Each classroom may submit one name and give a short written description or video that explains why they chose their name for the gantry.
The name should have significance to the City of Chicago.
The winning class will participate in a dedication event where the launching gantry name will be officially announced to the public.
The winning name will be displayed on the gantry for the duration of the bridge segment installation work, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
Entries are due by March 1.
Winners are expected to be announced in April 2022.

For more information on the contest, please email Marcy Jensen of Walsh-Fluor at

The new Red-Purple Bypass has opened!

On Friday, November 19, the new Red-Purple Bypass was put into service for our customers -- the first major customer benefit to be delivered as part of the RPM project. This new 0.3-mile rail bridge is the first new main line section of track added to the CTA system since the Orange Line opened in 1993!

Check out a video of the first train in service on the bypass and a video of work completed to get the bypass ready.





Building the new Red Line tracks: The Gantry System

Watch our Sept. 22 meeting here and learn more about how we are building a modern CTA!

RPM Community Office is now open

CTA has opened a new RPM Community Office at 5137 N. Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood, a central location for residents in the RPM project area that includes Edgewater, Uptown, Andersonville and Lakeview East. The RPM team will have staff to speak directly with residents who are affected by the historic Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project.

RPM_Community_Office_ribbon_cutting_7.26.21_2The new office is intended to serve as a one-stop shop where residents, businesses, stakeholders and the general public can learn about the RPM project, ask friendly staff members questions and let CTA know about their concerns. It serves the entire RPM Phase One project area, including the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project and the Red-Purple Bypass Project zones. It is accessible via the temporary Red Line station at Argyle and the #36 Broadway and #92 Foster buses.

The outreach office will remain open until RPM Phase One is completed in 2025 and will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment.

Visitors to the office can and are encouraged to:

  • Ask questions about the RPM project and CTA
  • Set up in-person appointments with RPM staff
  • Request meetings with live foreign language translators
  • Request project tours
  • Request school visits by RPM staff to learn more about CTA and RPM
  • Participate in events held at the outreach office

For more information, stop by or email us at 

Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Stage A construction has begun

New CTA stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr are coming! The first of two major phases of station and track reconstruction between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr began on May 16, 2021. Check this space for information, videos and more. Scroll down to find out what you can expect.

How to ride CTA during construction: New videos

Here's how to navigate CTA trains and buses during the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project!

Bryn_Mawr_station_video_snip      Bryn Mawr, #92, #84          Berwyn_station_snip        Berwyn, #92, #146

ARgyle_video_snip      Argyle                                  Lawrence_snip        Lawrence, #81

CTA's virtual station-by-station meetings May 3-6

We recently held a series of Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization virtual meetings for each of the four stations.

Bryn Mawr, May 3

For a copy of this presentation, click here.

Berwyn, May 4

For a copy of this presentation, click here.

Argyle, May 5

For a copy of this presentation, click here.

Lawrence, May 6

For a copy of this presentation, click here.


Lawrence to Bryn Mawr virtual town hall meetings, March 2021

CTA's RPM team hosted two virtual town hall meetings on March 2 and March 4, 2021, to update residents and riders surrounding the four Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Red Line stations  on the CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project and what to expect during reconstruction of station and tracks between N. Ardmore and N. Leland avenues. Click here to watch our recent town hall meeting.

Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Stage A: What can you expect?

2021 construction activities and Stage A overview

CTA anticipates the start of new station and track construction to begin in Spring 2021 and construction will be performed in two stages, Stage A (2021-2022) and Stage B (late 2022-2024).

Stage A includes:

  • Lawrence and Berwyn stations close at the start of Stage A and CTA will open temporary rail stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr to provide customers with access to Red Line service. Red and Purple Line service will continue throughout construction, with train service running on two tracks (the westernmost tracks) instead of the usual four tracks.
  • CTA will demolish the northbound Red and Purple Line track structures (the two easternmost tracks) and begin the demolition of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stationhouses. The track structures and stationhouses are all around 100 years old.
  • After demolition, CTA will build new track foundation columns on the east side of the CTA track structure.
  • New track structure construction will follow and be constructed with pre-cast concrete segments that are created off-site, trucked in, and installed with a gantry system.


A new Argyle temporary station entrance, above, and a new Bryn Mawr temporary station, right, will open in spring 2021 when Stage A construction begins.

CTA will provide the public with a more updated timeline on the start of Stage A when construction plans are finalized. When Stage A is completed, CTA train traffic will be rerouted to the new tracks so the westernmost tracks and new stations can be rebuilt in Stage B.

See what the new Red Line stations will look like!

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CTA in January 2021 unveiled new designs for four Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations that will be fully reconstructed as part of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project. The new stations will include elevators and escalators, wider platforms, and vastly improved amenities, better serving the more than four million customers who enter the stations each year. Major construction work will begin this spring. Lawrence and Berwyn stations will close for 3 ½-4 years. Customers will be able to access the Red Line at Argyle and Bryn Mawr via temporary rail stations close to the original stationhouses. All stations are expected to be completed and open by the end of 2024.







Lawrence Red Line Station20201020_Argyle_Main_ElevationArgyle Red Line Stationberwyn-main-approach






Berwyn Red Line Stationbryn-mawr-main-station-elevationBryn Mawr Red Line Station



Red-Purple Bypass: Building the steel bridge structure

Construction of the new Red-Purple Bypass continues and will be completed later this yearAfter completed the construction of columns last summer, we  began last fall installing steel to form the bridge starting from the south and moving north. In January 2021, we completed the installation of steel over the Red and Purple tracks and in February the steel was extended to west of Sheffield. The bypass will carry Kimball-bound Brown Line trains over the tracks. Learn more here.

After the bypass is finished, the RPM team will begin rebuilding the century-old Red and Purple Line tracks underneath the bypass, between Belmont and between Cornelia and Newport. The new Purple and Red Line tracks are expected be completed by the end of 2024. 

Check out some recent photos!

January 2021












Apply for the RPM Open for Business Program.

Your business contributes to the character and charm of your community. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that your customers see you and recognize the vital role you play.

RPM Open for Business Program:

  • Supports small businesses, nonprofit organizations and major attractions or entertainment venues
  • Includes marketing efforts to promote participants

Program is free of charge - Apply now and be seen.



RPM construction has begun!


Better CTA service is coming! We've broken ground on the transformational Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, with work beginning on a key component of RPM, the Red-Purple Bypass north of Belmont station. The bypass will allow for more trains, less congestion and a less cramped commute to work.

The modernization project has many steps, and it is important to know when and how you or your business may be affected.  Sign up for construction impact alerts in your community here.


How are we building the Red-Purple Bypass?