Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Dorval Carter (at podium in photo) joined me at the Howard Street Red Line Station in the 49th Ward today to announce a$30 million upgrade to the Purple Line Express that willimprove travel times and provide smoother and more reliable service to Purple Line commuters, including 49th Ward residents who board the Purple Line at Howard.
The four-month project is scheduled to begin Monday, July 20th, and end around Thanksgiving.
The project will fix aging track infrastructure, including replacing track ties and the restoration of track alignment from Lawrence to Jarvis on both Howard-bound and Loop-bound tracks.
About 13,000 customers ride the Purple Line Express each weekday. Due to the poor condition of the tracks in this corridor, the Purple Line Express has not acted much as an express train lately. The trains headed to and from the Loop must travel through several slow zones that compromise the speed and reliability of the service.
To minimize impact to customers, the CTA will perform the track upgrade work during evenings and weekends. According to the CTA, the work will have no impact on Purple Line Express service and only minimal temporary impact to Red Line service during times when the trains must slow due to workers on the right-of-way.
The last major renewal of these tracks occurred in the early 1970s and the majority of ties along this stretch of the Purple Line Express have reached the end of their useful life.
The work will begin at Lawrence in July and move its way north to Jarvis during the four-month project. I will let you know via email when the work will impact the 49th Ward. In the meantime, visit the CTA’s Red Line and Purple Line pages for current and upcoming service alerts, or subscribe to planned weekend service changes from CTA Updates to have advance notice of work e-mailed to you.