CTA to Kick Off Final Major Phase of Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project

Written by David C. Lester, Engineering Editor and Editor-in-Chief, Railway Track & Structures
Rendering of CTA’s Argyle Station. (CTA)

Rendering of CTA’s Argyle Station. (CTA)

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will begin construction on four new, fully accessible stations at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr to replace century-old stations, and start rebuilding southbound Red and Purple tracks.

CTA on May 31 reported that it will begin this summer the final major phase of the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization project, which is part of the $2.1 billion 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 transit agency also said it will hold community meetings in June 2023 to provide information about the work, project benefits, and impacts to neighbors and CTA riders.

By starting the last major phase of this modernization, CTA said it is moving closer to providing riders with smoother, more reliable rail service, as well as fully accessible Red Line stations with elevators and escalators, wider platforms and other amenities. CTA will 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 riders 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, according to the transit agency. The Red Line is CTA’s busiest line and runs 24/7.

The 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 (2021-23): 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 (2023-25): 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.

“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,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said. “The RPM project is an important part of our commitment to making the entire CTA rail system fully accessible.”

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