CTA breaks ground on Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Red Line Modernization project

June 3, 2021
The modernization project will rebuild tracks and support structures, as well as replace 11 bridges through two Chicago neighborhoods.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) broke ground on its Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project, which is part of the CTA’s historic $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project.

CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr., was joined by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, U.S. Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-5) to mark the start of the project.

"Thanks to today's groundbreaking, which is an important step forward in our mission to modernize the Red Line with the largest project in CTA history, we are able to enhance those positive impacts even more. I am grateful for the continued support of our partners at the federal and local level, which allows us to provide our residents with the affordable, accessible and reliable transportation they deserve," said Mayor Lightfoot.

CTA will begin this spring rebuilding the 100-year-old Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations and track structures on the CTA’s busiest rail line. The new stations, which will open by the end of 2024, will be modern, larger and fully accessible stations that will include elevators, wider platforms and other improved amenities. CTA will also rebuild the century-old track structure between the four contiguous stations, which will provide a smoother, more comfortable and more reliable ride.

“CTA is leading the country in infrastructure investment,” said Terry Towle, group president of Fluor’s Urban Solutions business. “It is ambitious programs like this one that will allow cities and businesses to thrive in an urbanized world. Fluor’s contribution to CTA’s modernization project will improve mobility for millions of people for decades to come.”

CTA is beginning Stage A, the first of two stages of construction, which begins with the demolition of a 100-year old track structure between Red Line Lawrence to Bryn Mawr. CTA’s contractor, Walsh-Fluor, will rebuild the northbound Red and Purple Line track structures (the two easternmost tracks) into a new and modern track structure, as well as support structures along a 1.3-mile section of track and replace 11 bridges. Stage A will be completed in late 2022, and then Stage B will begin and include reconstruction of the southbound Red and Purple Line tracks and the four new stations.

The majority of new structures will be built at track level to minimize the impacts to streets and free the space underneath the viaducts. Fluor will use precast concrete segments manufactured off site—a method used to minimize disruption to the community—in order to support and elevate the structures.

In addition to the station house and track structure work, a complete modernization of the track signal system will improve ride times and service reliability. The new tracks will provide a smoother, quieter and quicker ride for CTA customers, resulting in a better and more efficient transit system for the city of Chicago.

“CTA customers will see a significant improvement in service with increased accessibility to rail service, less crowding on trains and rail platforms and shorter commute times,” said Carter. “The benefits of this project extend beyond riders of the Red Line to Chicago’s neighborhoods and small businesses across the city through training, job and contract opportunities that will be a model for future CTA projects like the Red Line Extension.” 

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