Walsh Construction joint venture begins reconstruction of Chicago's North Main Line Red and Purple Line track structure
Chicago, IL - Walsh Construction and joint venture partner Fluor Corporation, operating as the Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team, joined Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter Jr., Senator Dick Durbin, Representatives Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky, Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward) and other dignitaries to begin the reconstruction of an 100-year-old elevated track structure north of Belmont Red Line station in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood. The North Belmont Red-Purple Reconstruction project will remove a curvature in the tracks between Belmont and Addison station, allowing CTA to improve its service throughout the transit system.
The existing curvature in the tracks was built to avert the historic Vautravers Building, a curve in the tracks that slowed train speeds for millions of riders over the years. In late 2021, the Vautravers Building was moved 30 feet to clear a path for track reconstruction. When completed, the new track will accommodate more trains and passengers per hour and allow for increased train speeds.
Along with removing the curve in the tracks, the Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team will build a new closed-deck track structure with sound walls on the North Main line that is expected to reduce train noise for residents and pedestrians in the neighborhood. The new elevated tracks will create a brighter, cleaner, safer pedestrian environment at street level. A new signal system on the 23 track miles that will improve train flow and service reliability.
Red-Purple Bypass Complete
Walsh Construction and joint venture partner Fluor Corporation recently reached the first major completion milestone of the 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 allows CTA to add trains during the busiest commute periods, and eliminate capacity restrictions that were caused by the antiquated rail junction. The bypass also provides 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.
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.