Addison Station Track Upgrades Represent a Milestone in the Massive RPM Project

44th Ward alderman Tom Tunney; 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman; Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. at this morning's presser in a CTA lot in the 3400 block of North Clark Street.
44th Ward alderman Tom Tunney; 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman; Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. at this morning's presser in a CTA lot in the 3400 block of North Clark Street.

Weeks of headaches for Wrigleyville straphangers paid off today. After shutting down northbound service to the Red Line’s Addison station for most of March, today city officials announced that $4 million in track upgrades have been completed at the station, located a foul ball away from Wrigley Field. The improvements are helping to set the stage for the $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization Phase One project, a massive overhaul of the North Side ‘L’ corridor, which will officially kick off later this year.

The track work at Addison replaced worn track components to create a smoother ride, and eliminated a slow zone and track conditions that could lead to future slow zones, city officials said. From March 11 to 25, the Addison station was only served by southbound trains. Shuttle buses provided transportation to and from the stop during the work. Red and Purple Line riders also had to deal with delays because the two lines shared a single set of tracks during the rehab.

“For Chicago to continue to be a global city, it must have a world-class transit service to connect residents to jobs, education, culture and above all opportunity,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “We’ve seen countless businesses make the decision to locate in Chicago because of our attractive transportation network, proof that modernizing CTA rail service is an effective strategy for economic growth and creates a seamless, safe, and reliable transportation system for every neighborhood.”

CTA’s RPM Phase One project includes:

  • Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, wheelchair- accessible stations, and track structure totaling six miles that almost 100 years old.
  • Building the controversial Belmont flyover which will remove a bottleneck north of the Belmont station by routing Brown Line trains over the Red and Purple tracks via a roller-coaster-like structure. The CTA projects that this will allow the agency to add up to eight more Red Line trains, carrying 30 percent (7,200) more riders per hour during rush periods.
  • Installing a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that the CTA says will improve train flow and reliability.

Advance work on the RPM project, including relocating utility lines and property demolition, began in 2018. In total, 16 buildings are coming down to make room for the flyover. The agency is continuing to relocate utility lines and equipment, with major project construction slated to begin in late 2019 and be completed in 2025.

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