The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has broken ground on the Red-Purple Bypass. A joint venture of Walsh Construction and Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corporation are tasked with designing and building the bypass, the largest capital project in CTA’s history.
A major component of CTA’s Red Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, the modernization will improve service and accessibility on the century-old rail system. The project involves the construction of a new bypass bridge to eliminate a 100-year-old bottleneck where three rail lines intersect. The Walsh-Fluor team will rebuild almost two miles of tracks while trains continue to operate. Four of CTA’s busiest rail stations will be replaced and the signal system will be upgraded.
“We are pleased to be a partner to CTA in modernizing its 100-year-old rail system,” said Terry Towle, group president of Fluor’s infrastructure and power business. “This modernization project will create capacity for decades to come, which will allow CTA to provide more reliable service on modern infrastructure.”
The construction of the bypass will increase train speeds and increase CTA’s capacity to add train service. Four modern, accessible stations will also be built. The new stations will have elevators, wider platforms, longer canopies, more benches, windscreens, better lighting and security features and real-time information boards.
The bypass portion of Red and Purple Modernization Phase One Project will take place in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, a dense residential and commercial area, steps from Wrigley Field. The design and construction plans incorporate many elements to mitigate the impact of the project on the environment, residents, businesses and patrons, pedestrians, bicycle and car traffic.
Fluor and Walsh Construction bring decades of megaproject and transit experience to this program, delivering state-of-the-art services, improved quality, safety and reliability. The $2.1 billion project is funded by a mix of federal and local funding. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2025.