Feds contribute another $100 million for CTA Red and Purple Modernization Phase I project

clark street rendering
Clark Street rendering (from CTA)

The federal government will grant $100 million for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red and Purple Modernization Phase I project, US Representative Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) announced on Sept. 23.

The grant will be used for ongoing improvements to the Red and Purple heavy rail lines on Chicago’s north side.

“Public transportation is critical to life in Chicago. Thousands of people use the ‘L’ every day to get to work, school, and around the city. This funding will enable CTA to continue progress on the vital Red Purple Modernization project on the North Side and keep working to ensure the ‘L’ remains a reliable transportation option for all Chicagoans,” Quigley said in a statement. “Modernizing our public transportation not only improves the lives of those of us who already live in the city but also promotes economic growth in Chicago and throughout the region.”

This US Department of Transportation funding will help with Phase 1 of the RPM project, which will expand and improve public transit along the Red and Purple rail lines, some of which are more than a century old. This 5.6-mile segment is located between Belmont and Howard stations on the north side of the city. This phase includes the reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr rail stations, as well as the modernization of tracks and signals to be fully accessible. It will also construct a Red-Purple bypass aimed at improving efficiency and increased capacities.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the most visible portion of the years-long program to rebuild much of the CTA’s busiest train line is scheduled to begin within days, with construction equipment arriving north of the Belmont station and, by early October, an enormous bridge—or flyover—taking shape.

The $100 million award is under terms of a long-term funding deal fro, the final days of the Obama administration, when the federal government agreed to provide $957 million for the $2 billion project. Most of the rest of the money is coming from a special tax-increment financing district that collects funds on property located within a half-mile of the Red Line, Crain’s reported.

The CTA still is seeking funding for the project’s second phase, north of Bryn Mawr.

U.S. Department of Transportation officials have also announced a $13.5 million grant to the  Chicago Department of Aviation to build a taxiway at O’Hare International Airport.


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