CTA wins $156 million in Red Line modernization funding

The CTA last week was promised $156 million in federal funds to begin engineering on Phase 1 of the Red-Purple Modernization project. And another $125 million for the huge project was included in President Obama’s 2017 budget.

While the latter is not a certainty, the former will push the $2.1 billion Phase 1 project into engineering, the next major stage that immediately precedes the start of construction.

Phase 1 includes four Red Line station reconstructions (Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr), reconstruction of track structure and viaducts (including some that are more than 100 years old), and the construction of a rail bypass north of Belmont station designed to increase rail capacity and alleviate train congestion.

The CTA’s next steps for the RPM project include finalizing the funding plan for Phase 1, which will include a mix federal and local funding sources, applying for federal project funding, and selecting a contractor to design and build the project.

Timeline for Phase 1 of Red-Purple Modernization project.

Timeline for Phase 1 of Red-Purple Modernization project.


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  • The former doesn't look like a certainty, either.

    And, by my math, someone is still $1.8 billion short.

    I see you didn't pick up Ginger Evans saying she still wants an Airport Express and CTA saying it wanted nothing to do with it. Remember the prior dialog on wasted capital funds? Those funds about equal what you are celebrating here. Maybe you can get King Richard II to refund that money to the CTA.

  • In reply to jack:

    Not sure where you get the idea that I am "celebrating" anything. I am merely reporting the facts.

    Yes, the CTA is well short of total funding, but they do keep plugging away, moving the ball forward.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    They also continue to IGNORE other parts of the City in need of trsnsit service improvements.

    Maybe it's time for a Title IV Civil Rights intervention.....

  • Lawrence, Argyle & Berwyn need to be permanently closed.
    Lawrence users can go to Wilson, less than a quarter-mile away.
    Argyle & Berwyn should be replaced by a new station at Foster with a Berwyn entrance.
    The same goes for Thorndale, close it & open up a Glenlake entrance to Granville.
    There are far too many stations on the North Side & they really aren't needed, they're a relic of pre-WWI, when the line was built in 1910.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    True, but then they would have to hold a hearing, and somebody's boss would pack it, just like he did before when some very preliminary plan called for closing that "vital transit hub" at Jarvis.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    We've debated this before.

    I think the consolidation of Argyle/Berwyn makes sense. The tough part about that is that you can't easily walk from one stop to the other unless you walk down an alley. So, their distance apart is not that far, but walking distance is greater since you have to walk around. I'm still not convinced removing Lawrence is a good idea given it's proximity to a lot of concert venues and nightlife.

    Jarvis is the least used stop on the whole Red line and about half the ridership of any of the other mentioned stops.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I totally agree. There is no point in having both a Lawrence and a Wilson station. Just have an extended entrance if you need to. Thorndale should go too. Make a far southern entrance for Glenlake and a north-facing entrance for Bryn Mawr.

  • None of you guys live in these neighborhoods!
    I've lived in both and to be forced to walk to another station in the morning is ridiculous!

    We needs these stations just where they are now but with elevators for carriages, broken legs in casts, etc. You need to live here instead of criticizing the stations.

    Lawrence is like Bryn Mawr! It has very busy nights, days and weekends due to the Aragon Ballroom and all their shows not to mention the Green Mill & the Riviera where thousands line up for Miley Cyrus et al.

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