By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz
12:00 AM CDT, April 17, 2014
The CTA announced today that it plans to create a bypass north of the Belmont station to speed North Side Brown, Red and Purple Line train travel through that area.
About 150,000 rides go through the intersection north of the Belmont stop every day, creating a bottleneck that causes trains to have to wait minutes for signal clearance, the CTA said.
The agency estimates it would cost $320 million to create the bypass and rebuild northern Red Line tracks. The CTA is seeking federal funds for this project, which may require the CTA to acquire 16 buildings north of Belmont for construction.
The bypass is one of three Red Line initiatives the CTA announced today. The agency said it will also move forward on a study of the environmental impact of extending the Red Line to 130th Street. The CTA said yesterday it plans to rebuild stations and tracks between the Wilson and Bryn Mawr stops.
The CTA is not sure how service would be affected as it creates the bypass. The start of construction depends on when the money is secured.
Work on rebuilding the four Red Line stops and accompanying track between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr would begin in 2017 at the earliest, the CTA said. The Wilson stop is being overhauled in a $203 million project expected to begin this year.
Rebuilding the Sheridan stop would not be a part of this phase of North Side work, the CTA said, but would be part of future modernization.
On the South Side, the CTA said it is moving forward to finish the study of the environmental impact of extending the Red Line south of 95th Street. Plans include building new stations near 103rd, 111th, 116th and 130th Streets. That project is estimated to cost $2.3 billion.
The CTA is seeking public comments on these proposals. An open house about the Lawrence-Bryn Mawr project will be 5:30-7:30 p.m., May 21 at Truman Community College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.
The Red-Purple bypass open house will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 22 at the 19th District Police Station, 850 W. Addison St.
The Red Line extension open house will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 13 at Palmer Park Gymnasium, 201 E. 111th St.
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