CTA to begin work on Red-Purple Bypass in September

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Work will begin in the fall to reconstruct and modernize the CTA Red and Purple Lines, including more accessible stations and a rail bypass on Chicago's North Side.

Transit officials hosted one of two information sessions scheduled in Lakeview this week for concerned residents as the CTA prepares to start construction in September on the Red-Purple Bypass, a major component of phase one of the CTA's $2 billion rail project.

"Our tracks are about 100 years old and that rail junction that we are rebuilding is 112 years old, so obviously it was built in a much different time in the city of Chicago," CTA spokesperson Tammy Chase said.

The Red-Purple Bypass is a new rail bridge that will carry Brown Line trains up and over Red and Purple Line trains just north of Belmont. The bypass promises to deliver smoother and quicker commute times while eliminating overcrowding on trains and platforms.

"It is going to be noisy," Chase said. "There will be alley and street closures occasionally. So we're here to educate the people who live and work here what to expect."

As part of project, the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations will all get a facelift starting in fall 2020.

Some opposed the construction because they saw it as unnecessary. But Ellen Hughes of the Coalition against the Belmont Flyover now says she'll work with the CTA to make sure neighborhood residents are treated right.

"I lost my fight, but I'm going to continue to stand up for my community," she said.

"We've developed quite a working relationship and I'm happy about that. The CTA has been good to their word."
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