President Barack Obama has signed off on federal grant money totaling nearly $1.1 billion that will go toward improving portions of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line on the north side of the city.
The money will be used to reconstruct the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations as well as overhaul about a mile of nearby track and support structure. The project is expected to create 6,000 jobs.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to sign a funding agreement for the project Monday with Sen. Dick Durbin and Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers.
The money will also be spent to create a “flyover” for northbound Brown Line tracks where they intersect with Red and Purple Line tracks just north of Belmont Avenue. The flyover will allow the CTA to run up to 15 additional trains per hour on the Red, Purple and Brown lines.
Red Line usage, which accounts for 30 percent of total ridership among the CTA’s eight train lines, is on the rise.
Construction, which will also include Red Line signal improvements from Belmont to Howard, is tentatively slated to begin in late 2018 and will take four or five years to complete. Planning and engineering will begin this year.
By the time the work is completed in 2025, Red Line tracks from Lawrence to Bryn Mawr may be 5 to 10 ft higher than they are now because they must be replaced and secured on rebuilt embankments, CTA officials have said.