The bypass, along with the new Red and Purple line tracks being finished this fall, allow trains to travel more efficiently with fewer delays, and provide CTA with additional capacity to add trains to meet ridership demand.  -  Photo: Canva

The bypass, along with the new Red and Purple line tracks being finished this fall, allow trains to travel more efficiently with fewer delays, and provide CTA with additional capacity to add trains to meet ridership demand.

Photo: Canva

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced the agency will begin this fall the final major stage of the North Belmont Red-Purple Reconstruction project as part of CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project.

The final stage will mark the next major milestone for the RPM project, completing the new elevated track structure north of Belmont station and reaching the two-thirds completion point for this section of the project.

The North Belmont Red-Purple Reconstruction project includes two major components: the new Red-Purple Bypass, which opened in November 2021, and the full reconstruction of the 0.3 miles of southbound track structure north of Belmont station to approximately Newport/Cornelia avenues south of Addison Red Line station.

The bypass, along with the new Red and Purple line tracks being finished this fall, allow trains to travel more efficiently with fewer delays, and provide CTA with additional capacity to add trains to meet ridership demand.

“As CTA ridership returns in record numbers nearing pre-pandemic levels, we are pleased to deliver modern track infrastructure to our customers,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Combined with the new tracks recently opened between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr earlier this year, we have now built nearly two miles of new tracks under the RPM project. We look forward to continuing to deliver on our promises to modernize the Red Line from north to south.”

Final Major Stage of North Belmont Red-Purple Reconstruction

With the completion of the bypass and the new southbound Red and Purple line tracks, CTA can move on to the next phase of work.

CTA’s RPM project contractor, Walsh-Fluor, will rebuild 0.3 miles of northbound Red and Purple Line elevated track structures between Belmont station on the south to the stretch of track between Newport and Cornelia avenues on the north.

Reconstruction of southbound tracks began in late 2021 and will be completed in late 2023.

Reconstruction of northbound tracks will start in late 2023 and is expected to be completed in 2025.

Minor Rail Service Impacts Expected in Fall 2023

Red, Purple, and Brown Line service will be maintained through the end of the project in 2025, with minor interruptions at the time of the new tracks being put into service this fall.

During the weekends when rail service is interrupted, CTA will provide free shuttle buses between stations for customers.

Upcoming scheduled service* interruptions:

  • Brown Line: Belmont to Southport interrupted Oct. 14-16
  • Red and Purple Line: Belmont to Addison interrupted Oct. 27-30 and Nov. 10-13

Community Meeting: North Belmont Red-Purple Reconstruction

CTA and Walsh-Fluor hold an in-person public meeting which will also be recorded and posted on the agency's website.

RPM Phase One Overview

RPM Phase One Project includes three major components:

  • Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, 100% accessible stations; and replacement of track structure totaling six track miles (ongoing)
  • New Red-Purple Bypass construction (completed in 2021) and the reconstruction of the Red and Purple Line track structure between Belmont and Newport/Cornelia (ongoing)
  • Installation of a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that, similar to roadway traffic signals, will improve train flow and service reliability (ongoing)
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