CTA Holds Groundbreaking for Phase One of RPM Project

Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot was joined by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. at a groundbreaking on the $2.1 billion Phase One of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Project.

“Today is a historic day for Chicago transit as we begin the largest project in CTA history to modernize CTA rail service for the next century and rebuild the Red Line, the CTA’s busiest line,” said Mayor Lightfoot. "Public transit is the great connector of our city — and with this monumental project, we are building on our obligation to ensure Chicago’s transportation network is accessible, reliable and affordable for all residents of this city so that our neighborhoods and communities are connected to jobs, education and opportunity."

The CTA RPM Phase One project will modernize and replace century old rail structures and stations, beginning with construction on the new RedPurple Bypass to unclog a 100-year-old junction where Red, Purple and Brown Line trains currently intersect. The construction includes rebuilding four Red Line stations and the rail structure between the Lawrence and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations. All RPM Phase One work will be completed in 2025.

“CTA customers will see a significant improvement in service with increased accessibility to rail service, less crowding on trains and rail platforms and shorter commute times,” remarked CTA President Carter. “The benefits of this project extend beyond riders of the Red Line to Chicago’s neighborhoods and small businesses across the city through training, job and contract opportunities that will be a model for future CTA projects like the Red Line Extension.”

The RPM Phase One Project includes the following components:

  • New Red-Purple Bypass construction (expected completion by the end of 2021), and reconstruction of Red and Purple line track structure between Belmont and Newport/Cornelia (expected completion by the end of 2024).
  • Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger accessible stations and replacement of track structure. Reconstruction will begin in late 2020-early 2021 and is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2024.
  • Installation of a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that will improve train flow and service reliability.

CTA’s contractor, Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team, will begin constructing new track structure foundations in the Lakeview community for the bypass bridge this fall.