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November 2021

Walsh Construction joint venture reaches milestone completion of bypass structure for Red-Purple Modernization Program

Chicago, IL - Walsh Construction and joint venture partner Fluor Corporation have reached the first major completion milestone of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) $2.1 billion Red-Purple Modernization Phase One project with the opening of a rail bypass structure on the city's northside.

Now open to commuter trains, the bypass carries northbound Brown Line trains over north- and southbound Red and Purple Line tracks, just north of the Belmont station in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood. The new structure eliminates a century-old rail junction that was a chokepoint for service across the CTA rail system.

The bypass will allow CTA to add trains during the busiest commute periods, and eliminate capacity restrictions that were caused by the antiquated rail junction. The bypass will also provide quicker, more reliable service as northbound trains and Red and Purple trains will no longer have to stop and wait for each other to cross the junction.

Along with transit impacts, the project has benefits for the community, including noise walls that reduce noise at the street level; tulip-design columns, a wave pattern on the noise walls to soften the look of the structure, and lighting and street pavers to improve the street-level aesthetic.

(Pictured Left: Early morning Brown Line train travels on newly opened bypass (photo credit: Keenan McCarthy))
(Pictured Right: Walsh Construction Vice President David Shier and wife Suzy pictured after riding a test train ahead of bypass opening.)

Walsh Construction and Fluor Corporation are the design-build joint venture leading the construction of the Red-Purple Modernization Project along with lead designer Stantec Consulting Services and major subconsultant designers EXP, International Bridge Technologies and TranSmart/EJM Engineering. The Red-Purple Modernization is the largest reconstruction project in CTA history.



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