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Lakeview, Boystown, Wrigleyville

Construction For CTA Red-Purple Bypass Set To Begin This Fall

A long-awaited plan to "detangle" the crowded Red, Brown and Purple line tracks in Lakeview is finally getting underway.

Conceptual rendering showing the new Red-Purple Bypass and potential redevelopment concepts (looking south on Clark St.) from Newport Ave.)
CTA
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CHICAGO — A long-awaited plan to “detangle” the crowded Red, Brown and Purple line tracks in Lakeview is finally getting underway.

The CTA announced Wednesday that they would begin construction on the ambitious Red-Purple Bypass project this fall. To start, crews will lay new track foundations for a rail bypass bridge that will allow Kimball-bound Brown Line trains to cross over north- and southbound Red and Purple Line tracks just north of Belmont station, the agency said in a news release.

CTA officials have said the current track alignment is the equivalent of having a traffic signal in the middle of a busy highway. To add more trains to alleviate overcrowding, getting rid of that “traffic light” is essential.

By building the bypass, the CTA previously said it could add up to eight trains during rush hour on the Red Line alone and ultimately would be able to accommodate 7,200 more passengers per hour on the three lines.

On Thursday, the CTA is hosting an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. on the second floor of the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. for those with questions about the construction and its impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. You can register here to attend.

The open houses will provide information about street and alley closures, alternative parking, garbage pickup, “proximity of column foundations to homes, garages and businesses,” equipment staging and the construction timeline.

CTA is still finalizing construction start dates.

Here are some before and after photos and renderings of the project from the CTA:

Credit: CTA
Clark Street, before the bypass construction.
Credit: CTA
Clark Street after the bypass construction.
Credit: CTA
Newport Street before the bypass construction.
Credit: CTA
Newport Street after the bypass construction.
Credit: CTA
School Street before the bypass construction.
Credit: CTA
School Street after the bypass construction.

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