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Red & Purple Modernization Project (RPM)


Kevin
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My only point (at least a year ago) was that they said they fixed the slow zones in 2007, but apparently didn't fix anything. Maybe Kruesi and Daley figured that they couldn't take the political heat for shutting the line down and doing it right the first time.

The relevant comparison is that they had all sorts of track outages on the north side last year, and again appear not to have fixed anything. The work done then was supposed to last until the "vision thing" arrived in 10 years. Maybe the station platforms and entry houses will hold up that long.

Apparently,even the work done this year isn't working right.This is the 2nd time in a couple of days signals aren't working on The Red and Green Line

One has to wonder if the contractors who have political connections aren't doing the job right the 1st time so they can make more money.

If I remember correctly.They made a big deal of the bypass so they wouldn't have to close the line down.

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  • 2 months later...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-plan-to-rebuild-red-purples-lines-gets-boost-from-federal-government-20131119,0,7074567.story

chicagotribune.com Plan to rebuild Red, Purple Lines gets boost from federal government

By Jon Hilkevitch

Tribune reporter

9:45 AM CST, November 19, 2013

The CTA's costly long-range plan to rebuild the Red Line on the North Side and the Purple Line in Evanston received a boost today from the federal government.

The Federal Transit Administration has decided that the CTA can compete for funding for the rehabilitation project, estimated to cost more than $4 billion, through a program that is generally limited to new construction to expand transit lines.

That doesn't guarantee funding under the "new starts" grant program, but the transit administration allowed the CTA to apply because the Red-Purple Modernization project will add much-needed capacity and deliver more reliable service to the most heavily traveled CTA rail line, officials said.

The project will involve rebuilding the Red and Purple Line tracks, replacing stations and overhauling viaducts and the elevated embankment from north of Belmont through Evanston.

Various options and designs are under consideration and would cost between roughly $2 billion to more than $4 billion to engineer and construct, officials said.

The CTA is the first transit agency to receive FTA approval to apply for funding under a new "core capacity" program, according to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.

"The CTA can begin moving forward on the environmental work necessary for design construction of the planned rebuilding," said Durbin spokeswoman Christina Mulka.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com | Twitter: @jhilkevitch

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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I'm really surprised they are being considered for the funding pie on the "new starts" program. Looks like they might actually be able to rebuild the north main, but then why rebuild Wilson/Red line now. To tear that down would then be an extreme waste. I think they need to go with an elevated structure like the Orange line has. The question would be would they actually build tracks in the middle of broadway as a temporary line, kind of like the Garfield park line did 60 years ago? I don't know if they could run anything next to a complete tearout of the structure. It probably would be deemed structurally unsound.

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I'm really surprised they are being considered for the funding pie on the "new starts" program. Looks like they might actually be able to rebuild the north main, but then why rebuild Wilson/Red line now. To tear that down would then be an extreme waste. I think they need to go with an elevated structure like the Orange line has. The question would be would they actually build tracks in the middle of broadway as a temporary line, kind of like the Garfield park line did 60 years ago? I don't know if they could run anything next to a complete tearout of the structure. It probably would be deemed structurally unsound.

My impression, when they gave up the Broadway subway and three track alternatives, was that anything they do now would be constrained by the Wilson and Bryn Mawr projects, which undoubtedly have a 40 year FTA useful life.

I think I agreed with you that I couldn't figure out how they could replace the embankment with an L in place, unless maybe they were thinking 2 tracks on L and 2 on the embankment. Even then, the half of an embankment wouldn't be stable. But I'm not an engineer.

The Garfield Park one wouldn't work, as the pictures indicate that a two block wide path was cleared out for the expressway, with the train to one side of that. No way to do that on the north side.

However, shoehorning this as a New Start doesn't surprise me, as that is essentially what was done for the Pink and Brown Lines. The thing that makes this difficult to understand at this point is that consultants are being funded to compete for essentially 3 New Starts (this, 130th, and Ashland BRT), apparently against each other and the rest of the country, and no construction money in sight.

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So you don't think broadway is wide enough to support 2 tracks at grade? They probably wouldn't run the purple line express at all. I have to admit it would be hard to do that with stations. But if they can close the dan ryan maybe they can do no stations between wilson and loyola and run a shuttle bus.

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So you don't think broadway is wide enough to support 2 tracks at grade? They probably wouldn't run the purple line express at all. I have to admit it would be hard to do that with stations. But if they can close the dan ryan maybe they can do no stations between wilson and loyola and run a shuttle bus.

I don't think that's the issue. The issue is that there are homes and businesses on both sides of Broadway, while at the time urban renewal cleared out Congress St. How many pedestrians crossing the street are going to be electrocuted or run over by 23 ton train cars? Not to mention the diversion of automobile traffic. North of Devon, you would have to close down Sheridan Road, and, of course, that would make the huge intersection of Broadway/Devon/Sheridan unnavigable.

Also, unlike the 1950s, there aren't conductors to collect fares. The old Rapid Transit books indicate that the Garfield train did not have station stops where it ran temporarily at grade.

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I don't think that's the issue. The issue is that there are homes and businesses on both sides of Broadway, while at the time urban renewal cleared out Congress St. How many pedestrians crossing the street are going to be electrocuted or run over by 23 ton train cars? Not to mention the diversion of automobile traffic. North of Devon, you would have to close down Sheridan Road, and, of course, that would make the huge intersection of Broadway/Devon/Sheridan unnavigable.

Also, unlike the 1950s, there aren't conductors to collect fares. The old Rapid Transit books indicate that the Garfield train did not have station stops where it ran temporarily at grade.

I don't see the problem with electrocution. Just put up fences add crossing gates at main intersections and if there is no station trains should flow well not causing too much of a traffic disturbance. It's either that or do a complete line cut which makes the dan ryan project small by comparison.

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I don't see the problem with electrocution. Just put up fences add crossing gates at main intersections and if there is no station trains should flow well not causing too much of a traffic disturbance. It's either that or do a complete line cut which makes the dan ryan project small by comparison.

Your forgetting about the frequently of the trains.

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I highly doubt that they will replace the new Wilson Station.

I would imagine that the easiest thing to do would be to close the Purple Line entirely, replace with shuttle buses and perhaps a peak express bus to the Loop or expanded Metra service. I would also imagine that they could close the line by sections. Howard-Loyola, Loyola-Wilson, Wilson-Belmont. Or perhaps the structure could be replaced half at a time, limiting to two tracks.

This project will definitely meet the new criteria for New Starts. An expansion to 10-car platforms represents a 25% capacity improvement, plus fewer stations, new systems, and faster speeds, as well as all-day express trains will represent additional capacity gains.

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I highly doubt that they will replace the new Wilson Station.

I would imagine that the easiest thing to do would be to close the Purple Line entirely, replace with shuttle buses and perhaps a peak express bus to the Loop or expanded Metra service. I would also imagine that they could close the line by sections. Howard-Loyola, Loyola-Wilson, Wilson-Belmont. Or perhaps the structure could be replaced half at a time, limiting to two tracks.

This project will definitely meet the new criteria for New Starts. An expansion to 10-car platforms represents a 25% capacity improvement, plus fewer stations, new systems, and faster speeds, as well as all-day express trains will represent additional capacity gains.

Any of the posted plans involve keeping the Purple Line (north of Howard) on the embankment, so no need for a line cut there. Many of the concrete overpasses in Evanston were recently replaced with steel ones.

The only engineering challenge is south of Howard, where the issue is either can be embankment be fixed or should be replaced with an elevated structure, similar to most of the Pink Line. As mkout points out, the frequency of the Red Line trains makes a shutdown impossible, in that you would need double the shuttle buses used on the south side, and the only "expressway" on the north side is Lake Shore Drive to Hollywood, which would force anything between 5700 N. and 7600 N. on an already overcrowded Sheridan Road.

Finally, the more that BusHunter talks about turning Broadway and Sheridan into a surface rapid transit route, the less sense it makes, so I'll leave it at that.

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Now the elevated structure south of wilson could be done by just running trains on two existing tracks. The question that needs answering is can the embankment handle traffic during demolition. If not what are they going to do? Running trains on broadway sounds extreme but the only alternative is a line cut or build the broadway subway. Now I can't even imagine what would happen north of loyola. The only option might be a line cut. I doubt they would run service up sheridan because there would be no howard connection. So that would be the most challenging part of the project.

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If the alternative were building a Broadway subway, that would be the permanent alternative, given the extreme cost, but that alternative was thrown out in the alternatives analysis process.

It was one thing to build concrete pillars under the old Douglas L, another to bore under or dig up a street for a temporary facility.

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I was under the impression the tNSM rebuild was primarily the enbankment from Lawrence northward. I didn't think it included the entire NSM, though a case could certainly be made for it. A rebuild between Belmont and Lawrence could be done two tracks at a time (no Purple service). The enbankment stability issue is a much bigger problem. I would say shut down the entire portion between Lawrence and Howard and rebuild it completely. If they choose to do only two tracks to replace four, then either some stations get eliminated OR designate some stations as Purple only stops. The main thing is to get the rebuild done as quickly as possible. Shuttle buses can be run along Ashland, Broadway and/or Sheridan between Howard and Wilson in addition to the existing express bus service. Perhaps if built from south to north, sections can be reopened (Phase I to Bryn Mawr, Phase II to Loyola, Phase III to Howard). I assume the enbankment in Evanston is fine, but the trackage is terrible.

I don't know what the cost would be (astronomical), but one could also doubledeck the NSM north of Wilson with the Purple Line running the upper level and the Red Line on the main level. This would allow for expanded platforms for ADA AND maintain Purple Line express service, though I would suggest eliminating the Jarvis station to create space for the Purple Line to descend.

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I was under the impression the tNSM rebuild was primarily the enbankment from Lawrence northward. I didn't think it included the entire NSM, though a case could certainly be made for it. ...

The original scope was north of Belmont (Belmont and south being the subject of the Brown Line project). Obviously, the Wilson station project limits its scope, but there are still issues like the Sheridan station and curve.

Also, when the first AA hearing was held, and Joe Moore sent out a flyer to "save the Jarvis station," it isn't politically possible to close it, although the express could bypass it.

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I highly doubt that they will replace the new Wilson Station.

I would imagine that the easiest thing to do would be to close the Purple Line entirely, replace with shuttle buses and perhaps a peak express bus to the Loop or expanded Metra service. I would also imagine that they could close the line by sections. Howard-Loyola, Loyola-Wilson, Wilson-Belmont. Or perhaps the structure could be replaced half at a time, limiting to two tracks.

This project will definitely meet the new criteria for New Starts. An expansion to 10-car platforms represents a 25% capacity improvement, plus fewer stations, new systems, and faster speeds, as well as all-day express trains will represent additional capacity gains.

Tell me where the money would come from to have all day express trains

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Tell me where the money would come from to have all day express trains

I'm not sure that all day was suggested. Obviously, though, some improvement of express service was implied by stating that Wilson would be an express/local transfer station.

The answer probably comes down to a variation of the crowd reduction plan thinking. There was a survey cited by the CTA Tattler that the north side was heavier than the south side, sort of like how the two ends of the Blue Line have become unbalanced, and trains are now turned back at Jefferson Park and UIC-Halsted. Similarly, some of the Circle Line plans indicated that the Purple Line would go into the subway, and terminate somewhere around Chinatown, instead of crawling south of Belmont, although more Brown Line service would have to be provided.

Certain efficiencies would also be achieved if the Red Line were upgraded to accommodate 10 car trains.

And, as you noted earlier today, the RTA just hit the jackpot (or minimized the bleeding).

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I'm not sure that all day was suggested. Obviously, though, some improvement of express service was implied by stating that Wilson would be an express/local transfer station.

The answer probably comes down to a variation of the crowd reduction plan thinking. There was a survey cited by the CTA Tattler that the north side was heavier than the south side, sort of like how the two ends of the Blue Line have become unbalanced, and trains are now turned back at Jefferson Park and UIC-Halsted. Similarly, some of the Circle Line plans indicated that the Purple Line would go into the subway, and terminate somewhere around Chinatown, instead of crawling south of Belmont, although more Brown Line service would have to be provided.

Certain efficiencies would also be achieved if the Red Line were upgraded to accommodate 10 car trains.

And, as you noted earlier today, the RTA just hit the jackpot (or minimized the bleeding).

With the RTA you don't want to assume.

They might to use it for projects or payoff some of the bonds.

I'm sure Emanuel people will try to get all the money for the CTA.

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With the RTA you don't want to assume.

They might to use it for projects or payoff some of the bonds.

I'm sure Emanuel people will try to get all the money for the CTA.

Unless the legislature changes the funding formula, it is what it is. I'm assuming that if the RTA collects more taxes, CTA gets approximately 48% of that. Maybe that has to be modified a bit in that, for instance, the party in the lawsuit was in suburban Cook County. The controversy the past two years has been over a rather insignificant amount of discretionary funds. There is, of course, the question whether the CTA's share of the funding formula goes to operations or paying the growing mountain of debt, as you noted.

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  • 1 month later...

From Crain's Chicago Business/Greg Hinz on Politics:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140114/BLOGS02/140119933/cta-red-purple-line-project-gets-funding-boost

Congressional negotiators late yesterday reached agreement on the first regular appropriations bill in years that's expected to pass both houses, and it looks like Chicago Transit Authority Red and Purple line commuters are going to be early winners.

According to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the bill filed last night in the House includes the new $120 million for "core capacity" transit program requested by President Barack Obama. It is expected to get a Senate vote by week's end.

The CTA's pending reconstruction of the Red and Purple lines north of Belmont Avenue is the only such project in the country tentatively approved for core capacity funding by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Actually appropriating money would seem to put the CTA in an excellent position to get a good chunk of the $120 million.

As I reported in November, the core capacity program has been a priority of Mr. Durbin's, since it targets money not just to build new transit lines, as usual, but to rebuild old ones, providing that the work expands their capacity to carry riders.

The appropriations deal "is good news for Chicago commuters," Mr. Durbin said in a statement. "As the only transit program currently accepted into the (U.S.) new core capacity program, the CTA is poised to be the first to benefit from this funding once Congress approves the spending bill and it is signed into law."

In fact, he added, reconstruction could double el ridership on the 10-mile stretch of track north of Belmont, which already is one of the CTA's busiest lines but is plagued by century-old stations and track structure.

Assuming the appropriations bill is approved, the CTA still will have to prove its case and negotiate final terms with U.S. DOT. And you can bet that, if someone muffs that formality, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will personally conduct a third-rail execution of the offending bureaucrat(s).

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  • 3 months later...

Looks like Phase I of this project will be happening sooner than later:

  • Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr to be reconstructed
  • Adjoining track structure to be reconstructed
  • Construction could begin in 2017
  • Construction costs $1.13 billion (!)

The first thing that strikes me is the high cost to rebuild the L, definitely seems on the high side. The second thing is that I thought the CTA wanted to do away with the Lawrence stop, as it's only two blocks from Wilson and Argyle. I wouldn't be surprised to see ridership drop at Lawrence in the long term, as Wilson will be an express stop.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cta-to-redo-4-north-side-red-line-stations-20140416,0,6118418.story

http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/cta/redeye-cta-announces-plans-to-rebuild-red-line-stops-20140416,0,3077623.story

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Looks like Phase I of this project will be happening sooner than later:

....

I don't know what this "announcement" accomplishes, since the articles indicated that no source of funding had been committed, just that Obama proposed a core program in a budget proposal (which, other reports indicate, has already been derailed in the House).

About all it indicates is that CTA appears done with the AA consultant garbage, as making this kind of announcement certainly forecloses stuff like putting the tracks on a new elevated structure, as opposed to the existing embankment.

The one exception is that Bryn Mawr was announced earlier, which is why the Tribune had Bryn Mawr renderings from October.

I agree that putting that much into Argyle is a waste of money.

Update: I see from a later Tribune headline that it was misleading enough to spur the usual South Side envy.

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If they wanted to rebuild on existing land, I wonder why they don't explore the idea of rebuilding the RPM in a trench? is it too expensive? I would think it would be cheaper. You wouldn't have to build an embankment. It's obvious the whole structure is coming down so why not excavate a few feet more and build in a trench plant trees along the embankment and run the service similar to the yellow line on the eastern end?

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