Surprise! CTA plans to start rebuild of north Red Line by 2017

In a surprise move, the CTA has announced it could begin the rebuild of four north Red Line stations and track by 2017. Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations and platforms, plus 1.3 miles of track in that vicinity, will be rebuilt.

The construction would first close the east two tracks and Lawrence and Berwyn stations for about 18 months, starting 2017. Passengers would access the Red and Purple line trains using temporary platforms at Bryn Mawr and Argyle stations.

After that, for Stage B, the west track will close for up to two years. Red and Purple Line trains will share the two newly reconstructed tracks on the east. Lawrence, Argyle, and Berwyn stations would be closed. Customers would access the Red and Purple line trains using temporary platforms at Bryn Mawr (southbound only) and Foster/Winona (both directions).

A CTA rendition of the future Bryn Mawr platform.

A CTA rendition of the future Bryn Mawr platform.

The Red Line would continue to operate 24 hours a day on about the same schedule.

The entire Red Purple Modernization project is estimated to cost nearly $2 billion. The project includes redoing the stations and track north of Belmont, plus the Belmont flyover. It is not fully funded yet.

A public hearing to review the environmental assessments is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. May 14 at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway.


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  • No surprise in this message. They have to schedule an environmental assessment at some point.
    The surprise move would be an announcement that they have a full funding agreement for the $1.3 billion or whatever it takes. Obviously, that announcement can't be made before passing this step.
    The really surprise move is that the previously announced rebuilding of the Bryn Mawr station won't happen except as part of this project.
    And of course, the big surprise (other than Alternative 2 was apparently selected) is that a bunch of stations will be closed at least until 2020. Then similar mayhem may occur north of Ardmore.

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    So, when are they ever going to renovate the Sheridan station? It's like they just skipped over it.

  • In reply to Schuh:

    I doubt CTA will do anything as long as they have hopes to straighten the S-Curve in which that station exists, no point in doing a full rebuild that gets demolished just a few years later. Until that straightening happens, if ever, Sheridan won't be touched.

  • In reply to bms2535:

    I keep wondering why CTA allows buildings in the area the need to straighten out Sheridan to be rehabbed.
    Why haven't they sent letters to the owners of those buildings that they are the targets for eminent domain, making sure that they know that all they're going to get is the pre-rehab or construction value, not the value in a few years when they seize it for straightening out the S curve?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    That one is a legally easy one to answer.

    A condemnor is not allowed to stop anyone from improving his property unless it actually starts condemnation proceedings and pays the deposit.

    Sending letters (as in the Clark Jct. case) does not have the effect you state, as the law is that the value is of the date of the taking. In fact, CTA may be damned if it does, since the owners on Wilton can now claim condemnation blight.

    In short, CTA better have the funds to acquire the property before threatening anyone.

  • In reply to Schuh:

    Also, one thing I forgot to mention is that CTA's eventual goal is to have ten car trains running the length of the Red Line. And platform long enough to accommodate that simply cannot fit into the Sheridan S-curve.

  • I had a shopping cart with me a couple of weeks ago. I had no way to get up to the platform on Bryn Mawr, Argyle or Lawrence. I had to take the bus to Addison or Belmont in order to get on. That was extra money I didn't have. But with all this rebuilding, I'll gladly wait because I'm not the only one being turned away or having to pay extra to get on the train.

    And they'd better include Sheridan because that's the next busiest stop after Addison. More people get off there to get to their cars or take a bus to their cars.

  • In reply to ApresSki:

    Riding the bus to the L costs the same ($2 + $.25 transfer=$2.25) as riding the L ($2.25), so I don't get the "extra money I didn't have" part of this.

  • In reply to whateva:

    Unless she didn't have a transit account on a Ventra card, in which case you get hit with 2 cash fares.

    But the reason for ADA is not shopping carts, although I suppose that working elevators facilitate their use.

  • In reply to whateva:

    I don't get this, either. Get a Ventra card (and I really HATE saying that, since I despise Ventra!!!), or you're just getting ripped off paying extra money. Don't give the CTA your extra dollars!

  • And none of this was a surprise. They've been saying this since they first realized people in wheelchairs didn't have access to those stops. Now, we'll all have access no matter if we have shopping carts, strollers, kids in strollers or wheelchairs. We will all be able to take the train from those stops.

    Yes, it's torture waiting for them to start and finish but at the same time, some of the infrastructure is also getting fixed. And its about time!

  • In reply to ApresSki:

    If you are satisfied with 2020 at the very earliest.

  • According to the published specs, 18 months for each phase is the maximum estimate for this project. So, if by some miracle (or behind the scenes negotiations) this starts in say April 2017, the East tracks get replaced and used in the second phase of 2 track by October 2018 or earlier. Still in two track mode, but faster, quieter, tracks abeit with possible construction slow zones for the stations getting rebuilt in the middle, so some benefit at that time.

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