CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project to Begin Final Major Phase

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Rendering of CTA’s Argyle Station

CHICAGO – CTA will begin building four new, fully accessible stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr that replace century-old stations; CTA to also begin rebuilding southbound Red, Purple tracks.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) this week announced the agency this summer will begin the final major phase of the transformational Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization project, which is part of CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project. This phase includes the start of construction of four new, fully accessible Red Line stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr.

The agency also announced it will hold community meetings in June 2023 to provide information about the work, project benefits and impacts to neighbors and CTA customers.

By starting the last major phase of this modernization, CTA is moving closer to providing customers with smoother, more reliable rail service, as well as fully accessible Red Line stations with elevators and escalators, wider platforms, and other amenities. CTA also reaches a significant project milestone, by completing what will be the new northbound Red and Purple Line tracks in summer 2023. This means CTA customers will get to experience some of the improved service from the RPM project – with trains using new, quieter and smoother tracks between the Wilson station and just south of the Thorndale station. The Red Line is CTA’s busiest line and runs 24/7.

“We continue to work hard to improve the Red Line, from rebuilding century-old infrastructure to extending the Red Line on the Far South Side to expand access to transit,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The RPM project is an important part of our commitment to making the entire CTA rail system fully accessible.  I look forward to opening the new Red Line stations with elevators and escalators for our customers.”

The $2.1 billion RPM Phase One Project includes rebuilding CTA track structures and stations between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr, the majority of which are being rebuilt in two stages, Stage A and Stage B:

  • Stage A (2021-2023): CTA has been reconstructing what will be the northbound Red and Purple tracks between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr. During this work, CTA Red and Purple Line Express trains have shared the two remaining tracks to allow CTA to continue rail service during construction.
  • Stage B (2023-2025): When Stage A is completed and trains have been rerouted to the two new east tracks, CTA will close the two older west tracks and begin to rebuild what will be the southbound Red and Purple track structures. CTA will also begin to construct the new, fully accessible Red Line stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr. The work will include new track, support structures, bridges, and viaducts built along the approximately 1.3-mile segment between Leland and Ardmore Avenues, eliminating many deteriorated structures in the community. The date for the start of Stage B will be announced soon.
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