Workers broke ground on a project to rebuild and straighten a section of Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) North Main Line Red and Purple Line track structure.
When the North Main line was constructed more than 100 years ago, the tracks were built around the Vautravers building, a historic greystone built in 1894, creating a curve in the tracks. In late 2021, the joint venture raised and moved the entire building about 30 feet to straighten the tracks.
The work is part of the historic Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project performed by a joint venture of Fluor Corp. and Walsh Construction Co. Officials say the track alignment has been slowing traffic for more than a century, and when completed, the alignment will accommodate more trains and passengers per hour and allow for increased train speeds.
“As was shown with the recent passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, existing American infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and upgraded, not just repaired,” said Thomas Nilsson, president of Fluor’s Infrastructure business. “That is exactly what our team is doing with the RPM project. Design-Build solutions will be an ideal project delivery method going forward. We are working collaboratively with CTA to make sure that the Red and Purple lines remain in operation while at the same time making this vital upgrade that will improve safety, operations and speed up service across the entire transit system.”
Along with removing the curve in the tracks, the joint venture will build a new closed-deck track structure with sound walls on the North Main line to reduce train noise for residents and pedestrians in the neighborhood. The joint venture is also installing a new signal system on 23 track miles to improve train flow and service reliability.
The RPM Phase One Project is the largest reconstruction in CTA history, modernizing and replacing 100-year-old rail structures and rebuilding four stations. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2025.