Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter Jr., joined by Senator Dick Durbin, Representatives Mike Quigley, Jan Schakowsky, Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward), and other dignitaries announced the completion of the Red-Purple Bypass.
They also announced the start of demolition work to reconstruct 100-year-old elevated track structure north of Belmont Red Line station. The North Belmont Red-Purple Reconstruction project will remove a curvature in the tracks between Belmont and Addison station, allowing CTA to improve its service throughout the transit system.
The Red-Purple Bypass, which began service in November 2021, is the first improvement to be delivered to CTA customers as part of the $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project.
”The reconstruction of the Red Line in our transportation and trail system has been long overdue," said Lightfoot. "Our city and our residents deserve an easily accessible and reliable CTA commute, and I’m thrilled to see the continued improvement and modernization of one of the busiest 'L' lines. I’m proud of the progress CTA has made with the RPM project and beyond confident this bypass will benefit every single person who uses our transit system in the City.”
The Red-Purple Bypass Project includes the new Red-Purple Bypass, which carries the Kimball-bound (northbound) Brown Line trains over north-and southbound Red and Purple Line tracks just north of Belmont station. It replaces the antiquated “Clark Junction” that was built in 1907 to connect what was then the Ravenswood Line (today called the Brown Line) to the Red and Purple lines, which began rail service in 1900.
“Our customers will see a noticeable improvement in CTA service, with increased access to trains, shorter commute times and less crowding on trains and station platforms,” said Carter, Jr. “I thank Mayor Lightfoot, Sen. Durbin and the Illinois congressional delegation for supporting this project and making it possible to build RPM. What’s more, I’m proud that the benefits of RPM extend beyond Red and Purple Line riders to the small businesses and workers across the city that are participating in this project — creating an unmatched model for job training and contract opportunities that is contributing to greater inclusion and equity in Chicago.”
Benefits of the bypass include allowing CTA to add trains during the busiest commute periods, eliminating capacity restrictions on CTA that were caused by the rail junction.