Work continues to make significant progress for the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red-Purple Bypass project, a major infrastructure project to improve efficiency for the L lines in Lake View.
Prior to the work, the CTA Brown Line was required to traverse the Red and Purple Lines tracks in order to veer to the west. However, the new design will include an overpass structure for the Brown Line to mitigate inefficiencies. Under the new system, the CTA expects to accommodate an additional 7,200 passengers per hour during rush hour, an increase of Red and Purple Line speeds by 60 percent at the juncture, and half a million saved travel hours per year.
The bypass project is part of the first phase to modernize the nearly 10-mile corridor of L line north of downtown. With the current infrastructure at almost 100 years old, the planned improvements will aim to support the expected doubling in ridership by 2040. The current first step includes both the bypass project as well as the Lawrence-Bryn Mawr Modernization. The second phase involves upgrades to the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr stations and the tracks in between.
The project lies just north of Belmont Station, which has service for the Brown, Purple, and Red Lines. From this station, bus access for Routes 22 and 77 can be found via a two-minute walk east to Belmont & Clark.
Walsh-Flour, a joint partnership between Walsh Construction Company and Fluor Enterprises, has been contracted to engineer, design, and construct the bypass. Meanwhile, Stantec Consulting Services and EXP Services Inc are providing additional design consulting. According to the CTA’s website, work on the bypass is expected to complete this year.
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I suppose I don’t mind the forward vision of this plan, but if this much money is being spent on the system’s efficiency, can anything be done about making the red line safe to actually ride on? I have too many friends in Uptown and Edgewater who won’t even get on the red line anymore because of the nonsense that takes place on that train on a daily basis.