Red Ahead: Red & Purple Modernization

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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 including McCutcheon, Goudy, Swift and St. Thomas of Canterbury elementary 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 Feb 1.
Winners are expected to be announced on March 1.

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?