UPTOWN — The $2.1 billion renovation of the Red and Purple CTA train lines on the North Side is one step closer to breaking ground, as CTA officials asked firms to submit proposals for the massive project.
The first phase of the project will rebuild four of the oldest Red Line stations on the North Side while rebuilding the structure that supports the track as well as the Belmont flyover, which officials promise will unclog the bottleneck created by the intersection of the Red, Purple and Brown lines.
"In Chicago, the strategic and extensive investments we are making in our city’s infrastructure are investments in our residents, our neighborhoods and in our economic future," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "As the CTA 'L' turns 125 years old this week, we’re always looking to the future by modernizing to create a world-class transit system that will better serve Chicagoans today and for decades to come."
The project includes plans to rebuild the 100-year-old embankment that supports the track between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr avenues, making it possible for six to eight more trains per hour to travel from Howard to 95th streets on the Red Line.
That should prevent riders from having to wait as packed trains pass by, officials said.
The project will be created by the first Tax Increment Financing District designed to finance a transit project. The district, between North and Devon avenues is expected to generate $622 million. Those funds — plus $428 million in other CTA money — will be used to match the $1.1 billion federal grant the city secured in the final days of the Obama administration.
For more information, go to transitchicago.com/rpmproject.