(Above) Rendering of Clark Junction, where Brown Line tracks will fly over Red and Purple lines.
13-Sep-19 The biggest, most expensive project in the history of the Chicago Transit Authority is about to start.
The Red Purple Modernization Program will result in quieter, faster service, according to CTA president Dorval Carter.
The $2.1 billion project will reconstruct Red Line stations at Lawrence, Argyle, and Bryn Mawr, replace six miles of track between those stations, and include Clark Junction. Near Belmont Avenue, Brown Line tracks will fly over Red and Purple lines, meeting up with them just north of the Belmont CTA station.
Carter says that should ease traffic throughout the entire system.
Slow-moving jerky trains along the S-shaped curve will be a thing of the past, says Chris Bushell, CTAs vice president of infrastructure. A new signal system, he says, will permit more traffic.
The first phase of the project will start later this year and be complete in early 2025. CTA says service will continue on all routes during the project, but Red and Purple lines will sometimes operate on two tracks instead of four between Belmont and a stretch of tracks between Newport and Cornelia Avenues.
The project is expected to create about 5,000 jobs, some of them permanent. A $1.2 billion contract was awarded to Chicago-based Walsh Construction and the Texas-based engineering firm Fluor Corporation to design and build the stations.
$1.1 billion of the project will be financed by the federal government.