CHICAGO, IL — Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Transit Authority
(CTA) recently unveiled the designs for four Red Line stations that will be fully reconstructed as part of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project, the largest transit investment in CTA history and the latest among several Red Line improvement projects over the last decade.
CTA will rebuild the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr rail stations, transforming each into new, modern, larger, and fully accessible stations to customers with disabilities. The new stations will include elevators and escalators, wider platforms, and improved amenities, better serving the more than four million customers who enter the stations each year.
The $2.1-billion RPM Phase One project is the first part of CTA’s plan to rebuild the Red and Purple lines between Linden and Belmont. Phase One work will benefit the entire Red Line by addressing chronic overcrowding and delays while modernizing infrastructure that is more than a century old. The Red Line is CTA’s busiest line, carrying nearly 70 million riders in 2019.
RPM Phase One
RPM Phase One Project includes three major components:
- Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, 100 percent accessible stations; and replacement of track structure totaling six track-miles that is a century old. Reconstruction work will begin in spring 2021. The new stations are expected to open by the end of 2024.
- New Red-Purple Bypass construction (expected completion by the end of 2021), followed by the reconstruction of Red and Purple Line track structure between Belmont and Newport/Cornelia (expected completion by the end of 2024).
- Installation of a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that, similar to roadway traffic signals, will improve train flow and service reliability.
New Station Designs
CTA will fully reconstruct the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr stations as well as rebuild and repair adjacent track structures. In developing the designs, CTA with construction contractor WalshFluor
Design-Build Team and architectural firm EXP
worked closely with people who live and work in the neighborhoods around the stations to develop designs to create an identity for each station, with each responding to the context and the culture of the local neighborhoods.
The Lawrence Red Line station first opened in 1923. The new design’s architecture incorporates influences from the surrounding area and includes a large glass bay to allow for natural lighting and added security. Lawrence’s 2019 ridership, measured by station entries, totaled 975,396.
The original Argyle Red Line station opened in 1908, the same year the Chicago Cubs won their last World Series before winning again in 2016. Originally a ground-level station, Argyle was rebuilt to its current elevated form in 1921. The new station design mixes both traditional and contemporary Asian architecture with contemporary American architecture and is overall reflective of the local Asian communities. Argyle had 970,130 riders in 2019.
The Berwyn Red Line station first opened in 1916 when Woodrow Wilson was U.S. president. The new Berwyn station design reconciles the residential area east of the station with the commercial area to the west. Berwyn’s 2019 ridership totaled 1,013,553 riders.
The Bryn Mawr Red Line station first opened in 1908 as a ground-level station, when William Howard Taft was elected U.S. president. The station was rebuilt in 1921 to its current elevated form. Bryn Mawr’s new design adds a new entrance at Hollywood and incorporates the glazed terra cotta commonly found in local architecture into the station, while keeping the current historic columns that frame the entrance. Station entries at Bryn Mawr in 2019 was 1,390,206.
Lawrence, Berwyn Stations to Close; Temporary Stations at Argyle, Bryn Mawr Open
CTA anticipates the start of reconstruction work to begin in spring 2021 starting with demolition of existing structures. At that time, the Lawrence and Berwyn stations will close. CTA will open temporary rail stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr to provide customers with access to Red Line service so that the original stationhouses can be reconstructed.
CTA will rebuild the tracks and stations between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr in two stages:
- Northbound Red and Purple Line tracks to be rebuilt in Stage A (2021-2022)
- Southbound tracks to be reconstructed in Stage B (2022-2024)
The track structure between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr, including viaducts and embankment structures, will be rebuilt and/or modernized as part of RPM. The first step of construction will include demolition of stations and track structures starting in spring 2021.
Most of the new track structure in the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr project area will be built with pre-cast concrete segments that are created off-site, trucked in, and installed with a gantry system.