Chicago Planning Flyover Fix for North Side El Lines

Fairly sizable funding contingencies still have to be resolved, but the so-called Red-Purple Bypass Project could increase rush hour capacity at a critical North Side junction by 30 percent.
April 18, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Chicago Transit Authority recently announced plans “to build a bridge or bypass for the Brown Line where it crosses the Red and Purple line over Clark Street a couple of blocks south of Wrigley Field,” according to a report by Greg Hinz.

The CTA Red-Purple Bypass Project would “unsnarl a mid-North Side rail junction that ties up hundreds of Red, Brown and Purple line trains a day.” Hinz reports that CTA Vice President Michael McLaughlin told a recent conference call that the “CTA will be able to run an additional 69 trains through the junction each rush hour, 30 percent more than now…”

The work still requires a full engineering and a source for the hefty estimated price tag of $320 million. Chicago did recently get a big windfall with a federal “core capacity” grant, but as part of much larger capital investment plans, the project will require serious political will to achieve the needed funding.

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Published on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in Crain's Chicago Business
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